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Eskom’s inability to provide electricity may lead to recession - Ramaphosa

Mines and other big businesses had to suspend operations this week, following Eskom's implementation of stage 6 load shedding, with economists warning of dire consequences for the country's GDP.

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 Ramaphosa has acknowledged that should Eskom's inability to provide electricity to South African homes and businesses continue, this could lead the country's economy into a recession.

Mines and other big businesses had to suspend operations this week, following Eskom's implementation of stage 6 load shedding, with economists warning of dire consequences for the country's GDP.

Ramaphosa said he insisted during his meeting with Eskom execs on Wednesday that the utility should put in place an emergency recovery plan to deal with the power crisis.

“…And emergency recovery plan that is going to ensure that we restore stability to the network and that is going to be done so that we do not have a catastrophic situation.”

He added that government has been open with investors about the electricity challenges as concerns mount about the possible impact the power cuts will have on current and prospective investments.

“People have been able to say, at least you are honest, upfront and are still willing to see South Africa as a conducive and profitable investment destination.”

Meanwhile, Eskom management has vowed to do all in its power to resolve the crisis.

The collective promised Ramaphosa that the country would not face load shedding between next Tuesday and 13 January.

STAGE 2

Eskom will be implementing stage two load shedding again from 9 am to 11 pm on Thursday night.

Rolling blackouts were suspended on Wednesday night with the utility saying there was no need to cut power throughout the early hours of the morning.

The company said it was making good progress in returning units to the national grid, however, breakdowns are still above 9500 megawatts.

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