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Mantashe defends ‘misled’ Ramaphosa over load shedding

Minister Mantashe, who sits on the energy war room meant to revive Eskom, was replying to Deputy President David Mabuza’s comments.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe in Schmidtsdrif, in the Northern Cape,  on 9 January 2020. The ANC met with community members in the area during its 8 January commemoration. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter

KIMBERLEY - Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said that President Cyril Ramaphosa had no option but to venture into the difficult subject of load shedding based on information provided to him by Eskom.

Mantashe, who sits on the energy war room meant to revive the struggling utility, was replying to Deputy President David Mabuza’s comments.

Mabuza had earlier said the Eskom management and board misled Ramaphosa by falsely assuring him that there would be no load shedding until at least the middle of this month.

The minister added that South Africans should remember that the president did not run the power utility. Mantashe said the president had the political responsibility to ensure that South Africa did not experience load-shedding.

But he said everything the president shared with the country after Eskom rolled out stage six load-shedding was based on information provided to him by the utility’s leadership.

Mantashe said they needed to look into whether more capacity could be built for Eskom.

“There’s a debate on whether we must stop building and start focusing on renewables.”

Mantashe was speaking to reporters after a meeting with the Schmidtsdrif community in the Northern Cape over its disgruntlement with how diamond mining is conducted in the area.

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