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‘Pupils are not an exception’: Motshekga says matrics must work around load-shedding schedules

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga expressed confidence the matric exams will proceed without problems due to blackouts. File image.
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga expressed confidence the matric exams will proceed without problems due to blackouts. File image.
Image: Ntswe Mokoena.

The matric class of 2022 will have to power through load-shedding to ensure they are well prepared for their final exams. 

The class of 2022 is set to write their first exam, English Paper 1, on October 31. 

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, basic education minister Angie Motshekga expressed confidence the matric exams will proceed without any problems due to blackouts, despite Eskom implementing stage 4 load-shedding this week.

Motshekga said very few exams will require electricity and classes have light.

“What is helpful is that the load-shedding schedules are there. You know when you are going to have power so you work around it. Very few exams require electricity and classes have light so we will be able to cope. 

“When there is marking, we will see if it is severe. Then we might bring in generators. I am able to speak with the energy minister [Gwede Mantashe] and see if we can mitigate against any adverse conditions. I am confident we will be able to work around it”, she said

Motshekga said matric pupils were not an exception, reiterating they will have to “work around” the load-shedding schedule just like businesses. 

“You work around it the same way business works around it. You look at the schedule. You must monitor load-shedding timetables and work around it. People don't stop going to work because there's load-shedding,” Motshekga said.

“Pupils are not an exception. Everybody copes. If they wake up and there is no power it means they will study later when the sun rises. I don’t want to stress children and say it is a big problem. We have to work around it.”

Eskom announced a fresh schedule of power cuts for the week. 

The power utility provided a load-shedding schedule from Tuesday until Friday, highlighting that the blackouts could carry on into the weekend.

The midweek power cuts would take place at different stages, with stage 4 implemented on Tuesday, stages 2 and 3 on Wednesday, stage 3 on Thursday and back to stage 2 on Friday. 

“Since [Monday] morning a unit each at Duvha and Medupi and three units at Kendal power stations have returned to service. A generation unit each at Arnot, Camden, Tutuka and Kusile power stations remain out of service following breakdowns in the past 24 hours,” Eskom explained.

“We have 5,106MW on planned maintenance and 15,576MW is unavailable due to breakdowns.” 

It said load-shedding was implemented only as a last resort.

TimesLIVE

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