Ramaphosa cuts short his trip to Egypt to deal with Eskom crisis

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has cut short his two-day trip to Egypt amid calls for him to deal with the loadshedding crisis that has befallen the country since last week Thursday.

Ramaphosa, who arrived in Egypt this morning, will return to South Africa later today.

Sources within the presidency have told Sowetan that Ramaphosa will meet with Eskom executives tomorrow to deal with the crisis at the power utility.

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This comes amid calls by political party DA and citizens for Ramaphosa to cut short his trip and address the issue.

Eskom has implemented load shedding for six consecutive days since Thursday last week. The crisis deepened yesterday when the power utility had to, for the first, implement stage six loadshedding.

The explanation given by Eskom was that there were technical problems at the Medupi power station in Lephalale, Limpopo, resulting in a need to shed 6,000 megawatts from the power grid.

The DA’s interim leader John Steenhuisen said that the implementation of stage six last night was devastating for an already struggling economy.

“The country is asking what exactly is going on, and we deserve full transparency on this threat to national stability,” Steenhuisen said.

“In these extraordinary circumstances, we call for parliament to urgently be reconvened in order for President Ramaphosa to address parliament and the nation on this escalating crisis. The president must come clean on exactly what the structural problems at Eskom are and how his government plans to address them within the coming days.”

Ramaphosa was scheduled to be in Egypt at least until Wednesday.

He was scheduled to meet with the Egyptian president Fatah El-Sisi today to deepen “bilateral political and economic relations” and participate in the inaugural session of the “Aswan Forum for Sustainable Development”.

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