Implementation of initiatives to end rolling blackouts needed: Ramokgopa

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Electricity Minister, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, says the initiatives on how to end rolling blackouts are already in place and that they should just find the best way of implementing them.

“There are these initiatives that are already there for the Minister of Electricity.  All he simply does is to ensure that there are greater levels of acceleration. There is focused intervention. We are able to coordinate our efforts with the industry so that we are able to reduce the severity of load shedding. I’m confident that by the end of this week, the President will make that determination, but that’s not my space. I have been assigned to address the severity and frequency of load shedding,” Ramokgopa explains.

He adds that President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce his specific responsibilities before the end of this week.

Ramokgopa elaborates in the video below: 

Some ANC MPs have said Ramokgopa has no budget, department, or performance plan and therefore no oversight committee.

Eskom says on Monday it expects stage six rolling blackouts to continue for the rest of this week. It claims that this is due to the failure of additional generating units and the delay in the return of several units to service.

Court ruling on Eskom

Energy analysts believe that exempting public schools, hospitals and police stations from rolling blackouts is impractical. This follows the ruling of the High Court in Pretoria that the sectors should be exempted from rolling blackouts. This was after the United Democratic Movement and other 17 organisations took the matter to court.

The court found that rolling blackouts were an infringement of constitutional rights. It has given the Public Enterprises Minister 60 days in which to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the sectors are exempted.

Professor of Physics at the University of Johannesburg, Hartmut Winkler says, ‘Basically, it’s completely impractical, bear in mind how load shedding works in practice is that people from the power department go to some of the main distribution stations and just switch off effectively whole suburbs at the time. Now, if you want to leave something on, you would have to go down the line and switch off every household and that’s not feasible in practice.”