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Generators will ensure uninterrupted power at hospitals, Ramokgopa says on Chinese donation

Electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa with Chinese ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong at the Eskom warehouse in Howick during the handover ceremony of 450 gasoline generators.
Electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa with Chinese ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong at the Eskom warehouse in Howick during the handover ceremony of 450 gasoline generators.
Image: Kgosientsho Ramokgopa / X

Electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa is confident the Chinese government's donated generators will help ensure an uninterrupted power supply at healthcare facilities and schools while load-shedding continues.

On Thursday Ramokgopa received R170m worth of power equipment which included gasoline and diesel generators at the Eskom warehouse in Howick in KwaZulu-Natal.

The 450 generators were delivered three months after the Chinese government pledged to donate the equipment to South Africa when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the country for bilateral talks in August.

“This is the smallest capacity generator we are receiving. We will receive much bigger ones that give us 159kW. They are big enough to power hospitals and correctional services. This consignment will come through by February next year,” Ramokgopa said.

“They are life-changing, figuratively and literally.”

The minister said the generators would be used as backup to lessen the impact of load-shedding in health facilities, schools, prisons and courts. He said while other government institutions would benefit from the donations, health facilities would be prioritised.

“Generators do not resolve load-shedding. All they do is help you have an alternative supply in instances of a power failure to make sure there is uninterrupted activity at health centres.” 

Reacting to the donations, Build One South Africa urged the government not to rely on “charity from China to fix its mess”. 

Last week, the minister was in the spotlight as the grid lost capacity, leading to higher than anticipated stages of load-shedding. The blackouts moved from stage 2 to stage 6 last weekend. This week the grid was more stable and load-shedding at lower stages. 

Ramokgopa attributed the improvement to the replenishment of emergency reserves and return to service of generating units.

Here are reactions to the donations on social media:

TimesLIVE

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