President Cyril Ramaphosa has called out power utility Eskom for prolonged power outages across various townships.
Ramaphosa has instructed Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to handle what he has referred to as Eskom’s “targeting of townships” as residents experience prolonged hours of load shedding, as per Times Live.
“This is also about targeting areas where most of our people live, like townships and other places, for cut-offs, and I want our comrade Pravin to immediately have this attended to.
“We cannot have a situation where people or sections of Soweto, Mdantsane or wherever are targeted and become the weak link where load-shedding can easily be effected. That should not be happening — and it is long hours of load-shedding,” said Ramaphosa.
The President was speaking at the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Monday. During the meeting, he also cautioned ANC members when it came to blaming South Africans for load shedding, indicating that the party should accept responsibility and move forward to help repair the system.
Eskom has reportedly been implementing “load reduction” in areas such as Soweto in an attempt to avoid “network overload.”
According to the power utility, load reduction is implemented in dense areas which often have illegal connections and high levels of vandalism to electricity infrastructures.
Meanwhile, as Eskom continues to implement Stage 6 load shedding following a wage strike by employees, it’s been reported that the power utility has officially reached an agreement with labour unions.
The deal will include a 7% increase for all employees starting 1 July 2022 until 30 June 2023 but will reportedly cost Eskom R1 billion for the period of the agreement, as per News24.
The power utility has noted the new agreement will be a “struggle” to afford.