Ramaphosa warns of grid collapse if government implements court order


President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that the grid could collapse, should the government implement the North Gauteng High Court order to exempt some public facilities from rolling blackouts.

Answering questions in the National Assembly, the President adds that the energy availability factor has dropped below 50%, making this decision practically impossible to implement.

The devastating impact of load shedding on the economy, and alleged corruption at Eskom, topped the list of questions.

The government’s intention to appeal the court ruling, that hospitals, clinics, schools and police stations must be exempted from load shedding, was questioned.

Inkatha Freedom Party Chief Whip Narend Singh says, “I cannot understand that the decision by the full bench is being appealed by the government.”

Ramaphosa defended their decision to appeal.

President Ramaphosa says, “It’s not in an arrogant way where we second guess the court, it is actually being done to ensure that we save the grid otherwise it will collapse if we were to implement that judgment in full.”

Court’s ruling on rolling blackouts: Ruse Moleshe

Criminal activities at Eskom

Ramaphosa was questioned about his knowledge of Cabinet members allegedly involved in criminal activities at Eskom.

“Did De Ruyter ever draws your attention President to any acts of corruption in Eskom or did Gordhan draw your attention that such politicians are involved,” asked National Freedom Party MP Munzoor Shaik Emam.

The President also stated that the only information he possessed was already in the public domain and had been presented to the state capture investigation.

“Never was information ever put about personalities that are involved hence I say the process of identification of all that is the matter that should be put to law enforcement agencies, it should be properly investigated so that those involved should be dealt with.”

About allegations made by the US ambassador to South Africa that a Russian ship docked in Simon’s Town in December loaded weapons for the Russian military to use in its conflict with Ukraine, Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen said, “Can you confirm whether weapons of war were loaded on board that Russian ship before it left Simon’s Town?”

But because this was a new question and not a follow-up question, Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula intervened. “Trying to disallow the question, President you don’t have to answer that question because it is a new question.”

Meanwhile, the government undertook to institute an independent inquiry into the allegations that will be chaired by a retired Judge.

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