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NFP questions Minister Gordhan’s absence during ‘electricity crisis’ calling for his removal

SA Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan speaks during a media briefing in Sandton. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

SA Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan speaks during a media briefing in Sandton. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

Published Mar 9, 2022


DURBAN - The National Freedom Party has questioned the absence of the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, during what the party calls an electricity crisis.

Power utility, Eskom, implemented Stage 4 load-shedding on Wednesday due to further failures of generation units. Power utility Eskom has escalated load shedding from Stage 2 to Stage 4.

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Eskom had implemented Stage 2 load shedding on Monday after seven units lost generating capacity over the weekend.

Eskom stated that unplanned breakdowns at power stations amount to some 15 439 MW of lost power with at least 5505MW of planned outages underway.

In a statement, Eskom said at least four units ran into challenges on Tuesday evening – necessitating the need to escalate the severity of load shedding.

Overnight, a unit each at Kendal, Duvha, Camden and Kusile power stations tripped. Since then, Eskom has returned four units to service. However, these units still need to ramp up to full output, which necessitates a high usage of emergency generation reserves on Wednesday.

“This being the fourth day of extremely high diesel usage, the emergency reserves are being depleted faster than can be replenished,” Eskom said.

Stage 4 load shedding is expected to continue until 5 am on Friday and will be followed by Stage 2 load shedding until Monday morning.

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NFP’s secretary-general, Canaan Mdletshe, said this was indicative of an energy crisis. He hoped and expected Gordhan to “come out of his hiding place” and give the country some direction.

"Is Minister Gordhan in South Africa? If he is, does the continuous load shedding challenges bother him? Does he even care about the problems at Eskom and its impact on up-coming businesses and the society in general? His silence and hiding during this period is conspicuous. It raises a lot of questions about his capabilities and willingness to take the country out of this mess.“

“As an organisation, we have been calling for his removal as the Minister because he has failed and has never cared about the country and challenges at Eskom. He has been part of the problem from the day he took over the office.” Mdletshe added.

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He said all the SOEs have crumbled, yet we have a minister who gets his full salary and perks for doing “absolutely nothing.“

He said small businesses and township entrepreneurs' future depends entirely on electricity to make ends meet and keep their businesses functioning.

“Gordhan must face the full consequences. He must be hauled before Parliament, and his salary must be reduced. Maybe he can take his work seriously. Load shedding is crippling our economy, which is already in a dire stage,” said Mdletshe.

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