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‘No economic impact yet from power cuts’

Cape Town - Government has not received any reports that the economy has been affected by power cuts, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on Thursday.

Briefing reporters at Parliament on behalf of Cabinet, Molewa said a call had been received from Eskom on Thursday morning concerning the power cuts which started in many parts of the country at 9am.

“For now we haven't received any information that says there's any negative impact that will be realised,” Molewa said.

Earlier on Thursday, power was cut to various suburbs in cities and other areas around the country.

Eskom blamed the power cuts on heavy rainfall in Mpumalanga which had left the power utility's coal stocks wet.

“We expect the rains will subside and as the rain subsides obviously we'll be back to normal. That's the timeline we're more or less expecting to have a return to normality,” Molewa said.

The situation could not be called a crisis at this stage.

“We obviously would be probably having some hitches here and there in households,” she said.

“It's already been indicated there's been some load shedding in some poorer areas of Gauteng and Cape Town but it is important to really just make this call [that] if we all save energy as we should it is highly likely that we can save much more so that there isn't any suffering in terms of the business areas where operations are taking place.”

Cabinet would ask Energy Minister Ben Martins and Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba to keep an eye on the situation. - Sapa

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