President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated that government will make sure that Eskom returns to operational and financial stability. The President was replying to the debate on his State of the Nation Address in Parliament.

He’s also said that they’re working towards removing blockages for businesses to operate in South Africa. President Ramaphosa says government will not switch off the lights at the power utility.

“We are firmly committed to the path of economic reform that we have embarked upon. We are removing red tape to reposition our economy, working with private sector and labour to address the specific blockages that hamper the growth of companies and be reckless and we refuse to be reckless and simply switch off Eskom’s life support. To do so will be to plunge our economy and our country into chaos,” says Ramaphosa.

Watch President Ramaphosa discuss various issues during his response to the SONA Debate:

On Wednesday, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said that Eskom faces two years of load shedding.

This in contrast to Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha saying that load shedding can be expected for the next 18 months as it catches up on maintenance.

Mantashe was speaking on the second day of the debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament.

The minister says unreliable electricity supplier is the biggest threat to economic growth in the country.

“Eskom demands above 31000 megawatts. According to the power utility we face at least two years minimum of potential load shedding,” Mantashe warned.

“The President mentioned the following measures we will implement to address energy shortage, procurement of emergency power, the easing of requirements and process for generation for all use and enabling municipalities in good financial standing to buy their own power,” he added.