Deputy President’s Pledge
Deputy President Paul Mashatile is hopeful. Addressing the Parliamentary Press Gallery Association recently, he confidently stated, “We want to put [load shedding] behind us next year.” With South Africa grappling with the dark specter of load shedding, this commitment brings a glint of hope. But will 2024 truly be the end of this persistent issue?
The Current Situation
- Mashatile’s Concern: “I have been very worried about load shedding,” he admitted, referencing both its frequency and intensity. Collaborating closely with the Minister of Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Mashatile’s strategy is clear: “We are going to push… but not push these power stations to a point of total breakdown.”
- All About Maintenance: A significant thrust of their strategy revolves around ramped-up maintenance. “If you see a bit of spike at the moment, they are doing intensive maintenance,” shared Mashatile. The hope? Once these power stations return, load shedding incidents will decrease.
Maintenance: The Heart of the Matter
- Missed Deadlines: This week, Minister Ramokgopa shed light on a concerning trend – Eskom not meeting its “planned maintenance schedule.” He cautioned that South Africans might have to endure intensified power cuts for a short while. “We are going to stick to planned and philosophy maintenance,” Ramokgopa confirmed.
- Eskom’s Announcement: The state’s power utility, Eskom, however, gave a shimmer of optimism. They’ll be dialing load shedding down to stage 5 from 5am-4pm this Friday. The reason? “Improved generation capacity and emergency reserves,” revealed spokesperson Daphne Mokwena. She further urged the public to conserve energy, especially during the evening peak hours of 17:00 to 21:00.
All eyes are now fixed on Eskom’s Friday afternoon update. As the nation remains hopeful, only time will reveal if 2024 can truly mark the end of South Africa’s load shedding woes.