Load shedding latest: DA want answers as STAGE 4 rollout looms

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Energy experts are now warning that the current round of load shedding could soon be elevated from Stage 2 to Stage 4, leaving South Africans further panicked about the future of the country’s electricity supply. 

With the electricity crisis at Eskom seemingly worsening, the Democratic Alliance (DA) have moved to try and obtain minutes of the so-called Eskom War Room dating back to its formation in 2014 in a bid to understand who is to blame for the task team’s dismal turnaround efforts. 

Eskom ‘lying’ about Stage 2 load shedding  

Energy expert Chris Yelland told City Press that load shedding could well be bumped up to stage 4 or stage 5 in the coming month as a result of Eskom’s plan to decommission six units at coal-powered plants around the country.

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South Africans have already endured Stage 2 load shedding for the lion share of the past week, and another energy expert, Ted Blom, saying that Eskom is “lying” about their Stage 2 implementation, claiming that certain areas like Sandton in Johannesburg are actually  running on Stage 6 schedules. 

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“There is more than Stage 2 load shedding going off here. I’ll categorically say Eskom is lying to us. Some areas have reached Stage 6 according to the schedules, they are all over the place, it’s like a bag of Liquorice All Sorts,” he told eNCA on Friday. 

With frustrations mountain, the DA have now decided to try and root out those responsible of the current shambolic state of Eskom. 

“With energy experts warning that the country may possibly be heading towards stage 4 rolling blackouts, South Africans have a right to know what the task team has done from 2014 to date to address electricity challenges facing the country, in line with its mandate,” they said in a statement on Sunday 6 June. 

DA submit PAIA application to Mabuza

The inter-ministerial Eskom task team – initially headed by then-Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and currently under the authority of Deputy President David Mabuza – was established to oversee the turnaround of Eskom and deal with the country’s electricity crisis. 

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“However, with a worsening energy crisis in the country, the task team has to account for the work it has done to try and ameliorate the crisis,” said Ghaleb Cachalia, the DA’s Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises.

“On several occasions, Ramaphosa and Mabuza have used the task team as a diversion to evade accountability by claiming that its existence was clear evidence that the electricity crisis was receiving urgent attention from the highest levels of government.”

“If that is the case, the ANC government now has an opportunity to share with the rest of the country the task team’s efforts in addressing an electricity crisis that threatens to sink what remains of the South African economy.”

How far along is the ‘Five-point Plan’?

Cachalia said that the PAIA application would also shed some light on whether any progress has been made in meeting the following five-point plan targets the task team set for itself when it was formed:

  • harnessing the cogeneration opportunity through the extension of existing contracts with the private sector;
  • accelerating the programme for substitution of diesel with gas to fire up the diesel power plants;
  • launching a coal independent power producer programme; and
  • managing demand through specific interventions within residential dwellings, public and commercial buildings and municipalities through retrofitting energy-efficient technologies.

“Load shedding poses a clear and present danger to South Africa’s economy and any government intervention instituted to address this crisis should be transparent and accountable to the people. Mabuza should show leadership and be honest on the progress made by the Eskom task team by acceding to our request for its meeting minutes.”

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