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Eskom suspends load shedding in Ulundi for Buthelezi funeral

Mangosuthu Buthelezi addressing amakhosi during a meeting regarding the Ingonyama Trust in Empangeni, northern KwaZulu-Natal, in May 2023.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi addressing amakhosi during a meeting regarding the Ingonyama Trust in Empangeni, northern KwaZulu-Natal, in May 2023.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

Eskom has suspended load shedding in Ulundi and surrounding areas for the funeral of IFP founding president and AmaZulu prime minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.  

Buthelezi, who died last Saturday, is expected to be buried in an official category one funeral on Saturday where President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to deliver the eulogy.  

“Eskom KZN has granted the exclusion of affected installations within Ulundi local municipality from load-shedding during the late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s funeral,” the power utility said.  

“The municipality requested the exclusion to accommodate the category 1 state funeral for the late Prince Buthelezi. The exclusion will be from 5pm this evening until 6pm tomorrow [Saturday].” 

TimesLIVE understands the load shedding schedule in the Ulundi area has been “rearranged to accommodate the burial”.  

According to those with knowledge, this is prescribed for in the rules for state funerals. 

Public works and infrastructure spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said:  “As the department responsible for overseeing state funeral infrastructure and logistics, if there is no load-shedding this will help preparations and the funeral to run smoothly. 

“But in our plans with the province and stakeholders we had contingency arrangements in case there is load-shedding.” 

The funeral will take place at Ulundi Stadium, where IFP supporters and Zulu regiments are expected to attend in large numbers.  

“The power system is highly constrained and Eskom will recover the load from other areas within the affected area, as required, to compensate for the exclusion. It is not a continuous exclusion and is granted on the specific day and time as per the schedule and area affected,” said Eskom KZN spokesperson Joyce Zongini. 

“Eskom urges customers in Ulundi and Nongoma to treat all electricity installations as live during this period.”

TimesLIVE


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