The media briefing on this week’s deliberations by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet on how it intends to deal with the country’s energy crisis has been cancelled at the last minute.
Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele was scheduled to table the outcomes of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting on Friday morning, but the briefing has been cancelled with government saying a statement would be issued on instead.
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Ramaphosa on Wednesday chaired a virtual Cabinet meeting to discuss the recent bout of load shedding being implemented by the struggling power utility Eskom.
The president was scheduled to attend the 77th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York this week, but he was forced to cut short his international trip on Monday, after attending Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in London to deal with the crippling power cuts on the economy and the lives of South Africans.
Ramaphosa arrived on home soil on Tuesday morning, at Waterkloof Airforce Base in Pretoria.
Cabinet expresses ‘regret’
In a statement issued by Cabinet after the conclusion of its meeting, the executive “expressed regret” over the intermittent load shedding that has disrupted the economic activities of businesses and inconvenienced households in the country.
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Cabinet said it remained committed to resolving South Africa’s energy security and welcomed the “concerted efforts being made by government and stakeholders” to find a permanent solution to end load shedding.
During Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan presented a briefing to Cabinet on the capacity of Eskom and a progress report from the newly established National Energy Crisis Committee.
“Cabinet is still deliberating on these reports and following further interventions announcements will be made.”
Stage 5 load shedding continues
Meanwhile, Eskom announced on Thursday it would continue to implement stage 5 load shedding until 5am on Saturday.
This after saying on Tuesday that there was a possibility of reducing load shedding by one stage on Thursday.
According to Eskom, since Monday afternoon, four generation units at four power stations were taken offline for emergency repairs. These are a generating unit each at Arnot, Lethabo, Kendal and Majuba power stations.
Seven units returned to service at Camden, Kendal, Kriel, Kusile, Lethabo and Majuba power stations.
Eskom said it would issue a detailed statement on load shedding for the weekend and next week.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe
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