Eskom hauled over the coals over load shedding

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana has demanded explanations from Eskom about electricity blackouts and load shedding.

Mushwana said yesterday that his office had noted with concern the devastating impact the country's power supplier's load shedding initiative was having on service delivery, both in the private and public sectors.

It was also having negative effects on South Africans on a continuous and daily basis.

Mushwana has a constitutional mandate to investigate all public entities that cause unlawful or improper prejudice to any individual.

Eskom's load shedding has prompted Mushwana to write to the power utility and demand answers about the frequent blackouts, measures that were put in place to prevent the current situation.

He also wants to know about the expected duration of the crisis, steps being taken by the power supplier to address the reasons for load shedding and time-frames within which the problem will be resolved.

Mushwana also wants to know what steps have been taken by Eskom to prevent a recurrence of load shedding, what steps the power supplier intends taking to compensate customers who have suffered any damage or inconvenience as a result of the problem, what it is doing to ensure that emergency centres such as hospitals and police stations are not affected, and also what is being done to prevent load shedding from causing serious traffic accidents as a result of traffic lights being out of order.

Buyiselo Ndiyane, communications manager in the Public Protector's office, told Sowetan that Mushwana would definitely take action after Eskom had responded to his enquiries.

Ndiyane said: "The Public Protector will study Eskom's response and if he is not satisfied with the answers he receives, then an investigation will be initiated."

Eskom had not responded to Sowetan's questions or confirmed receipt of the Public Protector's letter by late yesterday. .