OSAKA, JAPAN - JUNE 28: (RUSSIA OUT) South African
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
  • South Africa experienced stage 6 load shedding for the first time in history this week – long after President Cyril Ramaphosa started stressing the urgency of fixing it.
  • Ramaphosa has been promising progress – and in one notable case a solution – on Eskom for years. 
  • Here is what he has had to say about load shedding and the urgent importance of fixing Eskom.
  • For more visit Business Insider South Africa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is back in South Africa after leaving for Egypt just as record-setting stage 6 electricity rationing was implemented this week.

Ramaphosa, his administration made clear, would take a very direct interest in the ongoing electricity crisis.

"Our immediate priority is to get as much generating capacity back on line within the shortest possible time. Eskom's emergency response command centre and technical teams are working around the clock to fix multiple breakdowns," he told angry and frustrated South Africans on Tuesday.

See also: Abandoned South African mines could become giant batteries to fend off load shedding if a UK company has its way

But Eskom’s rescue plan, as well as a new energy plan, was announced at the end of October – and Ramaphosa himself has been stressing how critically important fixing Eskom is all year.

He has also promised that load shedding would be a thing of the past... by 2017.

Here are 6 things Cyril Ramaphosa has said about Eskom.

“Eskom has made much progress in implementing its nine-point plan, ensuring better maintenance of its general fleet, reducing costs and ensuring adequate reserves of coal.” 

Cyril Ramaphosa, State of the Nation Address, February 2019.

“Eskom’s contribution to the health of our economy is too great for it to be allowed to fail . . . Restoring energy security for the country is an absolute imperative.”  
Cyril Ramaphoa, at the Cape Town Minining Indaba, February 2019.

"We want to put Eskom on a sustainable operational path and we have seen great improvements. We are closely engaged with the situation at Eskom, with the implementation of the nine-point plan, strengthening the board and setting out a road map for the future."
Cyril Ramaphosa, responding to a debate by Members of Parliament on his State of the Nation Address, June 2019.

"We are addressing the Eskom issue every day. I’m saying to the whole nation let’s not panic let us join hands, close ranks and work together. That is why we are addressing it on an urgent basis. There is nothing much more urgent than restoring the power."

Cyril Ramaphosa, on 23 March 2019, when SA was hit by ongoing load shedding again.

“Our citizens deserve to be able to conduct their lives, go to school and operate their businesses confident that they will not be plunged into darkness without warning. At the same time, as citizens, we must understand that when we do not pay, we are part of the problem.”
Cyril Ramaphosa in his weekly newsletter on Monday.

And way back when…….

(Compiled by Estrelita Moses)

See also: Some light at the end of the load shedding tunnel: new independent power plants could be connected to the grid by February. Here’s what is coming online and when.

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