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Sabotage a factor in load shedding, says Ramaphosa

The president explained that an act of sabotage led to the loss of 2,000 megawatts from the grid, while adding that these acts should be investigated.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing a media briefing on 11 December 2019 on the latest spate of power cuts in the country. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphos a on Wednesday said one of the factors that led to the recent rolling power cuts was sabotage.

“Decisive action, in the end, will mean that people have to be charged, go to court, and that has to be dealt with by the criminal justice system,” Ramaphosa said.

The president addressed reporters at Eskom’s headquarters at Megawatt Park in Sandton following an emergency meeting with ministers and the Eskom board and management.

He explained that an act of sabotage led to the loss of 2,000 megawatts from the grid, while adding that these acts should be investigated.

Ramaphosa called on the country’s intelligence services to investigate the claims of sabotage at Eskom.

“Investigations are under way and I’ve urged management to speed up those investigations so that those who are found to have been participated in this act of sabotage are held to account,” he said.

The president added that incorrect design plans at the Medupi and Kusile power stations were also just some of the reasons for the poor power supply from Eskom.

“They had design challenges that were given rise to by the original equipment manufacturers having either misdesigns at certain parts of those power stations and that is being addressed,” he said.

The president listed a number of interventions at the media briefing, which included the potential inclusion of more private players in power generation to address the electricity crisis in the country.

Ramaphosa also announced that all leave by Eskom employees and executives had been cancelled until January to ensure that the system was restored to stability. He added that next year there should be sufficient power provision.

“By next year around June, unit one of Medupi will be on stream and will be able to generate enough energy,” Ramaphosa said.

At the same time, Ramaphosa said Eskom management committed that the country would not experience load shedding between next week Tuesday and 13 January 2020.

He said the government would watch over Eskom to ensure the security of energy provision.

WATCH: Eskom media briefing on SA power crisis