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Mbeki apologises for SA power cuts

Published Dec 12, 2007


By Asa Sokopo and Sapa

President Thabo Mbeki has made his first public apology for the country's power problems related to Eskom's load-shedding.

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"Eskom was right and government was wrong," Mbeki said at an ANC fundraising dinner in Bloemfontein on Tuesday night, after indicating that the government had been asked earlier to invest more in electricity to keep pace with the country's economic growth.

Meanwhile, rolling power cuts were expected to continue across the country on Wednesday, with no indication from Eskom as to when load-shedding was likely to end.

The city's manager of public lighting, Charles Kadalie said Eskom, which had been conducting statutory maintenance since Friday that had led to the load-shedding of the past few days, had not indicated how long the situation would last.

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Load-shedding started in Kuils River after 9am on Tuesday and moved to Pelican Park, Somerset West, Newlands, Bonteheuwel, Vanguard, Midlands, Milnerton, Kensington, Tamboerskloof, Epping, Koeberg and the city centre.

"By 6.27pm, all supply was restored," Kadalie said.

However, he could not confirm which areas would be affected on Wednesday, saying: "All we know is that this is a national problem.

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"They (Eskom) haven't told us much."

Eskom spokesperson Tony Stott was not available for comment.

The DA has expressed concern about the load-shedding, saying that Eskom's warnings were inadequate and the timetable on the Eskom website was difficult to read.

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