With frequent loadshedding schedules, the electricity situation in South Africa continues to become worse. Recently, social media has been awash with claims that the country will be without power for 14 days. Since then, Eskom, the South African power company, has denied the social media posts.
Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa was appointed as the new minister of electricity back in March by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Ramokgopa’s main objective, according to President Ramaphosa, will be to spearhead government efforts to urgently reduce loadshedding’s severity and frequency as well as to hasten efforts to ensure the Energy Action Plan’s full execution.
According to social media posts circulating, the effects of the grid collapse will include the shutdown of banks and ATMs, mobile phones, petrol stations, sewerage pumps, and water supplies, as well as the shortage of food items at supermarkets and homes. Additionally, looting will occur, and hunger and desperation will drive people to become hunters in order to provide for their families.
In a recent media briefing, Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), discussed the current electricity problem. He warned that South Africa is “heading towards darkness.”
Eskom denied the allegations in response to the rising concerns, saying, “Eskom refutes these claims and would like to assure South Africans that there are measures in place to avoid the collapse of the power system. Loadshedding is one of these mechanisms.”
Eskom went on to say that given the implementation of several control measures, including loadshedding, the probability of a national blackout has an extremely low likelihood of occurring.
“The grid is by no means at a higher or imminent risk of a collapse, and it would take an unforeseen and sudden sequence of events that results in a cascading collapse of the transmission or generation system, leading to a complete loss of supply across the country,” Eskom assured the country in their statement.
The appointment of a Minister of electricity gave the country hope that the electricity crisis would be handled. Although the government keeps insisting that there are plans in place to address the electricity crisis, many people had hoped for an immediate reaction and a reduction in loadshedding.