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Load Shedding Could Negatively Impact Matric Learners

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South Africa’s power utility Eskom has announced that the country will move to stage 4 load shedding until Friday.

This means that South Africans will be without electricity for 3 two-and-a-half hour periods per day. Eskom says that its announcement of stage 4 load shedding is due to a loss of generating capacity at various plants around the country.

Eskom said, in a statement, 'Over the past 24 hours a unit each at Medupi, Kusile and Matla power stations tripped while a unit each at Lethabo and Arnot power stations were forced to shut down. This constrained the power system further requiring extensive use of emergency reserves and therefore, hampering the recovery of these reserves'.

The power utility added that load shedding is implemented to ensure the stability of Eskom’s current systems adding that the public should not be alarmed by the stage of load shedding.

Umalusi CEO, Dr Mafu Rakomets says the current situation is unfortunate, as grade 12 learners around the country began with the final examinations today. He says that will have an impact on students' ability to study and write their final examinations, as this is a time when students need to be studying

He said, “as we speak in Gauteng it is cloudy, the exam rooms will be dark without electricity and that in itself is unfortunate and then we have students who can't study according to plan, the exam centres are without electricity and therefore it is dark where the learners will be writing the exams”.

Rakometsi explains that even things like travelling to exam centres will compound this already stressful time for matriculants. This as load shedding will negatively impact traffic lights and cause more traffic on the roads.

“There are certain limits that are set in terms of how late a learner can arrive in the examination centres. Those limits cannot be exceeded because immediately exceeding them they begin to compromise the integrity of the examinations” added Rakometsi.

Rakometsi says that if it is necessary to implement load shedding, it should be implemented at times when it will cause the least impact on the examinations. He proposed that load shedding takes place between 11 pm at night until 6 am in the mornings. He says this proposal was put to the Department of Basic Education and it is up to them to communicate with Eskom.

Umalusi monitors the standard of question papers in South Africa.

 

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