President Cancels International Trip To Resolve Eskom's Issues

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The burden of ongoing loadshedding, which seems to be worsening, has garnered some much-needed attention from the government. This comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa cancelled an international  trip in a bid to resolve the ongoing issue.


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South Africa’s ongoing energy crisis, characterised by frequent power outages that span several hours daily, has prompted a response from the country’s president. On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa cancelled his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland to deal with the current load-shedding crisis.

The President was scheduled to travel to Davos on Tuesday with a delegation from South Africa and take part in several activities associated with the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, such as the Annual Welcome Dinner hosted by Professor Klaus and Hilde Schwab and the Dialogue on Economics of Women's Health.

Presidential spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya confirmed the news in a statement issued on Monday earlier this week.

Due to the ongoing energy crisis, President Cyril Ramaphosa has cancelled his working visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos. Currently, the President is convening a meeting with leaders of political parties represented in Parliament, NECCOM [National Energy Crisis Committee] and the Eskom board,

According to Magwenya, President Ramaphosa will likely hold several briefings about the current blackouts. He adds that the president has already spoken with Eskom and the National Energy Crisis Committee (NECCOM) leadership and that these talks will continue.

However, experts in the country’s business sector are not as optimistic. Kganki Matabane, CEO of the Black Business Council says the government lacks a comprehensive strategy and timetable for resolving Eskom's problems and load shedding.

“South Africans are tired of hearing stories and hearing plans and promises. What we need is electricity and as we said, you can only stop load shedding by improving the current Eskom fleet and we don't think there's enough focus on that”

Meanwhile, union officials who are calling for a national shutdown against Eskom, have dismissed the president's trip cancellation as a mere publicity stunt, saying the current state of Eskom is left to deteriorate, in an attempt to privatize the power utility. NUMSA Spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi add that there is no justification for Nersa to grant Eskom an 18.65% tariff increase last week, which will come into effect in April

Last week, when the power utility announced that it will apply Stage 6 load shedding till further notice as a result of 11 generating units failing in a single morning, the situation with the electricity supply at the utility reached crisis levels.

 

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