South Africa will deploy police and intelligence officers at Eskom power stations to prevent sabotage as the government implements a plan to end outages and help the utility recover.
While most South Africans spent the past week griping about rolling power cuts, the outages proved a blessing for cable thieves, who are able to work during the blackouts without fear of electrocution.
Eskom said it will likely end rolling blackouts on Friday after it repaired some power plants and replenished diesel and water supplies at others.
President Cyril Ramaphosa reached out to labour unions that oppose his plans to break up the state power utility on Thursday, reassuring them that the move is not aimed at privatisation.
South Africa entered a fifth day of rolling blackouts on Thursday as the government prepared to announce a raft of measures to end electricity shortages that are having a debilitating impact on the economy.
The response to this week’s unexpected wave of rolling blackouts load shedding – by practically everyone – has been completely unimaginative. Predictably so.
Eskom said it will cut 3GW of power from the South African grid from 8am until 11pm on Wednesday, marking the fourth consecutive day of such measures.
South Africa’s biggest labour federation will embark on a nationwide protest on Wednesday that will keep workers from Eskom away from their posts amid a fourth day of rolling blackouts.
South Africa’s struggling power utility started a third day of power outages, blaming issues including failures at two huge new power stations that are also the main source of the company’s massive debt.
Two new coal-fired power plants being built in South Africa are “badly designed and badly constructed”, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday.