- Title: ''Sabotage'' contributed to blackouts, says Ramaphosa
- Date: 11th December 2019
- Summary: ALEXANDRA TOWNSHIP, SOUTH AFRICA (DECEMBER 11, 2019) (REUTERS) TRAFFIC ON STREET TRAFFIC LIGHT NOT WORKING DUE TO POWER OUTAGE (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALEXANDRA RESIDENT, MANDLA SPIKIRI, SAYING; "How can he (Cyril Ramaphosa) say, inviting people to come and open business here if you don't have electricity. Electricity is a basic need. We need electricity." TRAFFIC ON STREET PEOPLE WALKING ON STREET (SOUNDBITE) (English) STEPHEN RASELA, ALEXANDRA RESIDENT, SAYING; "These thugs, they are going to take advantage especially when the electricity is not there. They are gonna enter into our house, they can rob you they can rape you because there is no lights." CUSTOMERS IN ELECTRICAL STORE VARIOUS OF ELECTRICAL STORE OWNER MUHAMMED SULEMAN ON PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (English) ELECTRICAL STORE OWNER, MUHAMMED SULEMAN, SAYING; "Every day my average is like 10,000 in per day. But previous day, maybe 3000 I think one day. It means 7000 one day lost and two days equals, 7 plus 7 is equal to 14000, it my loss. If it's again like coming day, if you think like that is electricity again, then is affecting more business." CUSTOMERS IN SHOP
- Embargoed: 25th December 2019 18:03
- Keywords: Cyril Ramaphosa Eskom South Africa blackout power outage
- Location: JOHANNESBURG AND ALEXANDRA TOWNSHIP, SOUTH AFRICA
- City: JOHANNESBURG AND ALEXANDRA TOWNSHIP, SOUTH AFRICA
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002B9J9WLJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday (December 11) he suspected sabotage at power stations contributed 2,000 megawatts (MW) of lost capacity during the past week's outages and needed to be investigated.
Ramaphosa said state utility Eskom will work to stabilise the power grid by the end of March following South Africa's most severe blackouts in a decade.
A week of heavy rains across parts of South Africa caused flooding, aggravating problems at the cash-strapped power firm, which has struggled to keep the lights on since 2008.
Ramaphosa, who cut short a trip to Egypt to deal with the crisis, met Eskom's management and board on Wednesday.
Struggling state-owned companies have been a major headache for Ramaphosa who came to power nearly two years ago vowing to reverse years of mismanagement and economic stagnation. He has promised "drastic" steps if necessary to ensure their survival.
Eskom, which generates more than 90% of the country's power, is widely regarded as the most serious risk to an economy on the brink of recession.
Eskom Chief Operations Officer Jan Oberholzer told Reuters power cuts were caused by a "perfect storm" of extreme rainfall and breakdowns at coal-fired power plants. One coal mine and three power stations had flooded, he said.
(Production: Siyabonga Sishi, Onke Ngcuka)
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