In light of the current severe power outages plaguing South Africa, the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) has called on Eskom to limit future load-shedding to lower stages over the course of a medium-to-long term plan.
The ANC National Spokesperson Pule Mabe said that while the two-day NEC conference, which ended on Sunday, acknowledged load-shedding is required to protect the national energy system, it should be kept to the lowest stages and gradually phased out so that the people are not unduly affected.
“Eskom is currently under pressure to improve the quality and availability of its current supply.” In order to do this, Eskom must take measures such as stepping up maintenance and hiring mentors with the necessary skills. The power utility should also promote private investment to add generation capacity and hasten the conversion of power plants to alternative energy sources, according to Mabe.
Eskom says it is currently escalating load-shedding to prevent a total blackout of the electricity grid.
The recent industrial action by Eskom workers, which has included reports of intimidation, has interfered with the power generation plants running as they should.
Eskom is implementing continuous load-shedding stages ranging from 4 to 6, with stages 5 and 6 being the most severe.
“The NEC urges the government and Eskom to constantly communicate and engage with the communities being affected by load-shedding and load reduction. It should take decisive action in response to reports of sabotage of the country’s generation and distribution infrastructure,” said Mabe.
He said the NEC urges a campaign against power theft, which adds to the burden on communities and calls on all South Africans to adopt energy-saving practices to reduce strain on the national grid.
Mabe cites several worldwide events, including extreme weather, the COVID-19 epidemic, and the conflict in Ukraine, as major concerns for NEC.
“These events have thrown food supply chains into chaos, causing shortages and skyrocketing prices,” added Mabe.