Local Government head of department Graham Paulse, Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer, Premier Alan Winde and Local Government MEC Anton Bredell discuss solutions for load shedding. Picture: Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus
Cape Town - The province is planning for possible stage 8 load shedding by Eskom.

At a media briefing at the provincial disaster management centre at Tygerberg Hospital - held in response to Eskom’s implementation of stage 6 load shedding on Monday - Premier Alan Winde called on President Cyril Ramaphosa “to urgently take the lead to fix this dire situation”.

Winde said: “The president should specifically call a meeting between himself, premiers, the mayors of metros the minister of Energy and the minister of Public Enterprises to see if we can’t put some quick wins in place and mitigate as much as we can in the next while.”

“It’s not the first time that we the people of this province have been in a position like this, we understand very well what it is like to run out of something, because we went through a whole process as citizens, and as government as partners when it came to Day Zero with our water situation.

It was amazing to see how the levels of government and citizens came together and we were recognised globally for the way we took an absolute disaster and moved it into a positive.”

In terms of the Health Department, Winde said a priority would be to ensure “we have significant generator capacity installed at our healthcare facilities”.

“We are also ensuring that manufacturers of oxygen for patients, who require an uninterrupted power supply, are able to continue operating and also we will ensure that there is enough power supply to make sure the matric exam results are captured by December 17.”

Local Government head of department Graham Paulse, Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer, Premier Alan Winde and Local Government MEC Anton Bredell discuss solutions for load shedding. Video: Henk Kruger/African News Agency

Winde said he feared the power cuts would affect two of the provinces biggest earners: tourism and agriculture. He said: “Looking at the economy, one of the big economic drivers is tourism, and the big event happening this weekend is the Rugby Sevens, and so one of our discussions today was about how we can at least keep the lights on while the Sevens are on.”

On whether there might be a spike in crime during the load shedding, Brigadier Jorina Zandberg of the police provincial command centre said: “As part of our contingency plans, all leave for SAPS operational members has been cancelled to ensure we maintain and sustain high visibility.”

“The SAPS is committed to combat crime and maintain public order.”

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Cape Argus