President Cyril Ramaphosa briefing the media following his visit to Eskom Megawatt Park | Image: YouTube
President Cyril Ramaphosa may have cut short his trip to Egypt to come back home to deal with the power crisis, but South Africans were still left with more questions than answers after government revealed their “plan” to keep the lights on during the festive period.
Ramaphosa this week promised there would be no load shedding between December 17 and January 13, but excuses, from wet coal to ailing infrastructure to sabotage, have done little to gain the public’s trust after a fresh week of power cuts – a week that saw stage 6 load shedding implemented for the first time in our history.
If you can cut through all the excuses and the apologies, one aspect that was promising from Wednesday’s press conference at Eskom headquarters is that government could be open to the idea of allowing the private sector to generate its own electricity and sell it back into the grid – something they have vociferously opposed up to now.
“There are a number of applications from the private sector who have been saying ‘we want to generate’. In the end what they don’t use, they will be able to put back, or sell, into the grid,” Ramaphosa said.
“Eskom’s board had recommended the step as one of several to generate more capacity and meet shortfalls when ageing power stations were undergoing maintenance.”
The emergency recovery plan proposal will be presented to Cabinet today.
We are beyond crisis mode.
Promises that there will be no load shedding for just short of a month are no solution.
We need fresh ideas. We need long-term solutions to keep the lights on.
Failure to find new solutions only leaves us with darker days ahead.
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