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Finish power stations: ANC

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The ANC on Tuesday called on Eskom to fast-track the construction of the Medupi and Kusile power stations to alleviate the strain on the grid that has seen rolling blackouts.

“The last meeting of the national executive committee of the African National Congress held in November this year was instructive and emphatic that Eskom must accelerate the pace to complete and bring onto the grid the Medupi and Kusile power stations,” spokesman Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

“We further called for the enactment of legislation licensing independent power producers.”

Eskom has been battling to keep the lights on since the collapse of one of its coal storage silos at the Majuba power station in Mpumalanga last month.

The country has experienced regular power cuts with the past weekend having been the worst. Eskom implemented stage three “load shedding”.

Stage one allows for up to 1000MW of the national load to be shed, stage two for up to 2000MW, and stage three for up to 4000MW.

On Monday the power utility implemented power cuts after three of its generators were down.

Kodwa said if Eskom was to heed the ANC’s call, the country would not experience power cuts that had left households in the dark and forced businesses to shut their doors.

“It is our belief that these urgent and necessary interventions should and must provide relief to South Africa in the short to medium-term. We have in place the necessary plans to expand our energy capacity,” he said.

He attributed the problems facing Eskom to the increase in the number of people with access to electricity. He said when the country celebrated 20 years of democracy this year, it also marked the milestone of more than 11 million households having access to electricity.

“This project of the fundamental transformation of our people’s lives through access to the most basic of amenities, electricity, has not been without its share of problems.”

One of these was a lack of investment in power generation capacity. SAPA

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