Loadshedding impacts the ability of a business to perform optimally and generate profit. It also impacts the ability of students around the country to learn, complete their assignments and prepare for examinations.
The South African Union of Students has voiced their concern over the power cuts and described it as what appears to be an imminent collapse of the country.
Their concern relates to the duration of blackouts which are often intensified in townships and rural communities around the country. Recently, Eskom escalated loadshedding to stage 6.
Stage 6 loadshedding means 6 000 MW of the load is shed from the national grid. This results in South Africans being without electricity for four hours at least 18 times over 4 days. Alternatively, citizens will have up to 10 hours out of a day without electricity.
“Irrespective of the stage, electricity can be gone for 6-8 hours a day. This is unacceptable, consequent to the historical and sustained economic oppression and dejection of these communities, their access to alternative sources of energy is minimal to non-existent,” explained the union.
Union spokesperson, Asive Dlanjwa explains that blackouts are impacting students who are relying on internet connectivity and charge devices needed to complete their mid-year examinations.
They add that sudden changes to loadshedding stages do not allow students to charge the devices that are crucial for their education.
Dlanjwa said, “We are concerned because this is directly impacting on their constitutional right and provisions, the basic right to education so these are things that are really concerning for us as the union”.
They say under the current leadership of the embattled power utility, there is no stable energy integrity. The union are calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to "apprehend and discard" of Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.
"Their continued plunder of the country’s energy credibility is an investment in the worst social and economic unrest which will ensue! An unrest that will render the regrettable and unfortunate July unrests as a storm in a teacup" concluded the union.