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COO: Eskom won’t have a total blackout

South Africans are still reeling from Eskom’s surprise announcement of stage 6 load shedding on Monday with many calling for decisive action and an explanation from government.

(From left to right) Eskom board chair and acting CEO Jabu Mabuza, Jan Oberholzer, Segomoco Scheppers, Bheki Nxumalo and Bernard Magoro at a briefing on the latest round of power cuts on 17 October 2019. Picture: Bonga Dlulane/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer said he was confident the country would not have to deal with a total blackout.

South Africans are still reeling from Eskom’s surprise announcement of stage 6 load shedding on Monday with many calling for decisive action and an explanation from government.

While Eskom has since brought the power cuts back down to stage 4, many municipalities have extended schedules to make provision for a stage eight eventuality.

Oberholzer said a blackout was not on the cards.

“We will always make sure we protect the integrity of our network. This may mean we must inconvenience the public, but we have to do it to protect the integrity of our system.”

Meanwhile, Economist Iraj Abedian said load shedding placed an extra burden on an already struggling economy.

“It makes a mockery of our commitment to turn around our economy and it has long-term consequences for the economy to reposition itself as a growing economy.”

• How to check your load shedding schedule