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Cabinet says plan in place to keep the lights on

Deputy President David Mabuza, who heads a special Cabinet committee set up to deal with the crisis, briefed Cabinet at Tuynhuys on Wednesday.

FILE: Deputy President David Mabuza answers questions in Parliament. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - As the country braces for the possibility of more load shedding, Cabinet says efforts to ensure Eskom’s sustainability are under way in earnest.

Deputy President David Mabuza, who heads a special Cabinet committee set up to deal with the crisis, briefed Cabinet at Tuynhuys on Wednesday.

WATCH: Deputy president Q&A

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom’s board chairperson, Jabu Mabuza, have also met with unions, coal miners and the engineering sector.

The meeting with the leadership of the three unions recognised by Eskom covered the challenges the power utility faces and the plan to restructure it, a preliminary engagement aimed at paving the way for further talks.

Cabinet’s statement gave little detail, but says all parties agreed on more meetings for a better understanding of what splitting Eskom’s operations into three divisions will mean.

The Minerals Council and the Engineering Council of South Africa will now help to set up a technical operations and maintenance review team for Eskom after talks about several problems, including the quality, cost and supply of coal, as well as the need to bring in engineering expertise to help stabilise the supply of electricity.

Government’s coordinated efforts to bring financial, operational and structural sustainability to Eskom are proceeding in earnest, the statement said.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)