President Cyril Ramaphosa has requested Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise to deploy the army to several Eskom power stations.

This is according to a number of sources. 

News24 reports that Brigadier Andries Mahapa confirmed that the SANDF has already been deployed to some power stations to protect against the theft of essential components.

“We cannot disclose the areas [as] of yet, but there are power stations being identified by the intelligence report.  Some of our members are currently going to those stations [and] some are there already,” Mahapa told the publication.

He further told the publication that a full report of the areas where the army will be deployed will be released on Sunday morning.

Ahead of the release of the report, EWN listed Majuba, Camden, Grootvlei and Tutuka among the power stations earmarked for this exercise, citing Eskom’s Aubrey Sambo as a source. 

Load shedding crisis is being attended to ‘urgently’

ANC conference
Picture File: ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: The Citizen/Picture: Nigel Sibanda

News of the SANDF deployment comes just a day after ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday told party delegates at the 55th annual ANC Elective Conference that government is implementing “urgent measures” to curb power cuts.

This was also around the time that Power utility Eskom reverted to stage 6 blackouts on the same day that the country observed the Day of Reconciliation holiday.

Ramaphosa said additional power was being procured to deal with load shedding.

“Additional power is being imported through Southern African Poll, Eskom has also launched a programme to purchase power from entities with existing generation capacity.

“These and other urgent measures will steadily reduce the frequency and severity of load shedding and ultimately end it.

“At the same time, these measures will reshape the country’s electricity industry and ensure energy security into the future,” he said.

So far, said Ramaphosa, renewable energy efforts were expected to bring in more than 9000 wind and solar power to the grid.

“Significantly, more generating capacity is due to come online in the next rounds of the programme.”

No stage 6 load shedding for Nasrec

ANC's action against Niehaus, Yengeni, Dlamini ‘purely about rules’
ANC branding and flags adorn the Johannesburg Expo Centre as preparations are underway for the upcoming ANC elective conference, in Nasrec, on 7 December 2022. Photo: Michel Bega/The Citizen

Shortly after his speech, City Power confirmed it received a request from SAPS Natjoints to exclude Nasrec, where ANC55 is taking place from the deliberate power cuts.

The power utility said the request by SAPS Natjoints was for the duration of the entire conference from 16 to 20 December 2022.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the exclusion is to assist security operations in the area during the conference.

“It is due to the presence of high-security risk persons such as the President of the country, deputy-president, and the government Ministers.“

Mangena said the request coincides with the request from the City of Johannesburg,

“The request, fortunately, came at a time when Eskom granted City Power a retrieval from load shedding, which enables us to, on a daily rotational basis, exempt certain substations from load shedding.”

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Compiled by Kaunda Selisho, additional reporting by Getrude Makhafola and Faizel Patel

By editor