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Load-shedding will be reversed and dealt with decisively by December, says Mbalula

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ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula is the latest senior party leader to vow load-shedding will be a thing of the past by December, despite electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa having said otherwise.

Mbalula, during a sit down with JJ Tabane on eNCA’s Power to Truth show, said the government was on top of the crisis and power cuts would stop by the end of the year.

“What I know from where I’m seated, from the work that’s been done by government and ministers and so on, load-shedding before the end of the year should have been something of the past.

“I can assure you load-shedding will be reversed and will be dealt with decisively,” Mbalula said.

TimesLIVE reported this week ANC leaders and deployees in the government were told to stop making impossible promises to the public on critical matters like load-shedding after the party identified these as among its liabilities ahead of next year’s elections.

Ministers responsible for the supply of electricity and other sources of energy were told to stop attaching timelines to the ending of load-shedding because they were impossible to stick to.

Last month Ramokgopa made a U-turn on his energy plan to see the country free of load-shedding by December after an insider told TimesLIVE his plan included a proposal to extend the life of several coal-fired power stations.

Speaking at the ANC national executive committee meeting in Boksburg, Ramokgopa said it was not possible to end load-shedding by the end of this year.

“I want to sit here and tell the country load-shedding will end tomorrow. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. It is also not technically possible to end load-shedding by the end of the calendar year 2023, and that’s why we are at pains to illustrate the kind of steps we are taking,” said Ramokgopa.

“The long and short of it is that load-shedding will be with us by the end of this calendar year, but we will do everything possible to ensure its intensity is not as severe so we get the economy going.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa promised the business sector the government was working to end load-shedding in the short term.

Speaking at the fifth South Africa Investment Conference last month, he said: “The lack of reliability in electricity supply weakens business and consumer confidence, taints international perceptions about our country and affects investment sentiment and decisions.”

Ramaphosa, without giving a timeline, said the government had solutions to address the crisis through its energy action plan introduced last July.

“As we work to close the electricity supply shortfall and end load-shedding in the short term, we are laying the foundation for a fundamental reform of the energy sector in the longer term.

“Our immediate focus is on improving the performance of our existing coal-fired power stations as they continue to provide the baseload of our energy.”

Source: TimesLIVE


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