Deputy President David Mabuza says the building of three to four more power stations can help stabilise the country’s current energy problems. Mabuza was answering oral questions during a hybrid sitting of the National Council of Provinces.

His oral reply session comes a day after Eskom resumed with its implementation of stage two rolling blackouts since 2pm yesterday. Mabuza says drastic measures are needed to help Eskom.

“As the country, we are saying we cannot live in this situation forever.  Something drastic must be done. Now what must be done, Eskom must be assisted to find a partner so that they can have the available resources to add to their power generation, that is put new power stations. If they can put three or four power stations, that can stabilize our problem,” Mabuza explains.

Mabuza says the only plan that Eskom currently needs is to minimise unplanned power outages. He says while Independent Power Producers may contribute to the national grid, this is not sufficient to tackle the outages. This is what Mabuza had to say to the power utility.

“My message to Eskom is that, try and improve your planned maintenance. Try and manage your plan, minimise unplanned outages. That is the only plan that we can stick to but in the meantime, we must look for ways of building new power stations so that that can secure our country.  The future of our economy is if we have reliable energy,” Mabuza added.

Confidence in Eskom CEO

EFF Member of the NCOP Brenda Mathevula challenged the Deputy President on whether government still has confidence in Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter following his recent sentiments about the power utility. Mathevula says De Ruyter believes that Eskom cannot be saved.

“Eskom CEO just recently characterised that Eskom is a dead horse intimating that it cannot be saved and that the country must depend on Independent Power Producers. Does government share the views of Eskom CEO? If not do you still have confidence in his leadership of the entity if he himself claims that Eskom cannot be saved,” Mathevula said.

However, Mabuza responded to Mathevula by saying he was giving his own opinion about De Ruyter.

“I can tell you honourable members in the person of the CEO we have got a very good manager there. But remember you have brought this good manager into something that is ailing. Something that is unstable, something that is collapsing. And for the very fact that yes we have got load shedding, but he still keeps the lights on and he is trying very hard to maintain. I think we should give praise where it’s deserved; I think we must commend him for the work well done. However, as the country we are saying we cannot live in this situation forever. Something drastic must be done,” Mabuza responded.

VIDEO: Deputy President David Mabuza answers oral questions in the NCOP