Ramaphosa cuts Egypt trip short to attend to SA power crisis

The Presidency has confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa will cut short his state visit to Egypt. It says he will return home to deal with the deepening power crisis that the country is facing.

Ramaphosa is expected to meet with Eskom’s leadership on Thursday.

The country has seen six straight days of nationwide load shedding. Earlier, Eskom conceded that there was no end to load shedding for the foreseeable future.

Load shedding in the country has led to the shutting down of mining operations across the country.

Mobile network operator, MTN, says it has put contingency plans in place to mitigate the impact of load shedding to its customers.

It says since 2018, it has invested R300 million in batteries for its towers as a back-up.

However, MTN says it’s concerned that the batteries do not last for long periods.

MTN Executive of Corporate Affairs, Jacqui O’Sullivan, says the company is spending R1 million in three days for fuel to power generators.

“The problem that we are facing is that once we move past Schedule 3 we start moving into the areas where it’s just not giving us enough time to reload our batteries. So, we’ve got the batteries that have a capacity for 6 to 12 hours, but we do need 12 hours to 18 hours to reload those batteries so that is where the complexity starts to get into it, so, we got batteries; we got generators. At the moment, we are fortunate; we don’t have many sites down.”