South Africans Are Angry After Load Shedding Leaves the Country in the Dark
The national power utility, Eskom, has implemented stage-6 load shedding which effectively means it has lost close to half of its generating capacity.
Since last week, South Africans have been experiencing stage 4 load shedding which saw 4000 MW being shed from the national grid in an effort to cope with shortages.
Eskom, the country's embattled state-owned power utility, has recently implemented stage-6 load shedding which is reportedly meant to end today but South Africans are not having it.
Earlier this year in February, Eskom brought back stage-4 load shedding after rampant corruption has left the power utility unable to carry out simple maintenance work on crucial coal-powered stations and in constant need of billion rand bailouts from the government with South Africans having to bear the financial brunt of it. According to energy analyst Chris Yelland who spoke to Fin24, stage-6 load shedding indicates that Eskom has lost 40 percent of its generating capacity—catastrophic in his view.
Naturally, the load shedding has caused a national uproar with South Africans fed up with corrupt government officials, a ruling party which they feel does not prioritize the interests of its citizens and more simply, having to navigate through daily life in the dark.
To make matters worse, President Cyril Ramaphosa left for Egypt shortly after Eskom announced its plans to implement stage 6 load shedding. This drew considerable criticism from South Africans across the board.
John Steenhuisen of the Democratic Alliance (DA), the country's main opposition party, called on Ramaphosa to return home. "The president must come clean on exactly what the structural problems at Eskom are and how his government plans to address them within the coming days. Steenhuisen added that, "There is severe trouble at home, and Ramaphosa must attend to that ahead of all other engagements." EWN reports that Ramaphosa has cut his trip to Egypt short and is now returning to South Africa to address the national power crisis.
Take a look at further reactions from fed-up South Africans below: