President Ramaphosa ‘shocked and angry’ over ‘broken’ Eskom

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the current loadshedding by Eskom came as a “shock” and he was “quite angry” that the national energy generator has “reached this stage of dysfunctionality”.

In an interview following the 32nd African Union heads of state summit on Monday, Ramaphosa admitted that South Africa’s generation was in a “danger zone”, and that was why he announced the unbundling of Eskom into three separate business units during his State of the Nation Address last week.

“Energy is really the important generator of economic growth in our country and we are addressing it,” he said. “We have heard that there is stage four load shedding.

“Now that comes as quite a shock because it is reported that there are six units that have gone down. It is most worrying, most disturbing, and it comes as a shock.” The president also slammed the state-owned power utility’s “dysfunctionality”.

“I am also quite angry that we have reached this stage of dysfunctionality, and the minister of public enterprises (Pravin Gordhan) is busy right now, together with the board, with that issue,” he said.

Responding to a question from the SABC’s Sophie Mokoena, Ramaphosa said he would get the report when he returned home on Tuesday.

“So we have got to address this, because Eskom is a risk.

“We have got all our energy eggs in one basket. When the generator of energy in our country reports that there are six units (down), it means that all six eggs are broken.”

He said it should not be like this, and that was why the country needed a new business model for Eskom, to “minimise the risk, minimise our risk as a nation, like other countries have done, and unless we do so, we are continuiously going to be facing this type of risk.”

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