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‘No quick fix’ to South Africa’s power woes, admits president

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TSHWANE, SOUTH AFRICA - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (2nd L) attends the meeting after announcing official results of South African local elections in Tshwane, South Africa on November 04, 2021. (Shiraaz Mohamed - Anadolu Agency)
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Sep 26, 2022 - 08:03 PM

JOHANNESBURG (AA) – South Africa’s president has admitted that there is “no quick fix” to the current rolling power cuts plaguing the continent’s most industrialized economy.

“We will not be able to eliminate loadshedding (power cuts) in the short term. This is the unfortunate reality of our situation, which has had a long history,” Cyril Ramaphosa wrote in his weekly column.

Power utility Eskom, which caters to more than 90% of South Africa’s electricity needs, has been implementing power cuts for extended hours as it struggles to maintain output level due to its aging coal-fired plants.

Facing multiple corruption accusations, the firm is also largely shunned by investors.

Ramaphosa said his government’s immediate goal “is to reduce the frequency and severity of load shedding by addressing power station breakdowns.”

He said people with experience in running power stations are being brought back to help with plant operations and management, while the government is also procuring electricity from independent power producers.

“The government is giving close attention to the skills, experience and capabilities of the Eskom leadership to ensure that the company has the best people at all levels of the organization,” he said.

Ramaphosa urged citizens to resist the “great temptation to give up hope,” arguing that “just beyond the most immediate crisis, there are real signs of progress and good reasons to be optimistic.”

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