Power under strain
THE government is committed to keeping the lights on even though power generation is under pressure, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said.
He told a meeting in Pretoria that this commitment to uninterrupted electricity supply did not depend only on the government.
"I trust we shall all heed the call for efficient and prudent usage of electricity. We remain resolute in our efforts to keep the lights on during the supply-constrained environment we are currently in," Gigaba said.
"We continue to rely on all South Africans - both individuals and corporates - to continue reducing demand and saving electricity. We cannot do this on our own," Gigaba added.
He said illegal power connections were a major obstacle to constant power supply.
"We need the effort of every single South African. We must curb illegal connections and cable theft, which increase network overload and equipment failure," he said.
"This causes the system to trip and results in localised power outages in the distribution networks. We will continue to workwith the police and municipalities to raise awareness in this regard."
Gigaba said many companies had made significant contributions to energy-saving under the 49M energy-saving campaign over the past three years.
"However, more commitment is needed from the business community to ensure the lights stay on.
"This will ensure that economic growth and jobs are not put at risk.
"The same is expected from households, the majority of whom are supplied by municipalities. Our call for energy efficiency is not new and we thank those partnering with us in the campaign," Gigaba said.
Eskom's chairman Zola Tsotsi said future generations would suffer if every individual in the country did not start saving energy now.
"We all have the power to save electricity. If we did that now, we would change the way people use energy," he said. - Sapa