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Eskom Moves Loadshedding to Weekend Allowing SA Govt to Pass Bill

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Luis Monzon
Luis Monzon
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Embattled South African power utility Eskom is suspending load-shedding on Friday from 12:00 to 17:00 in order for the country’s parliament to pass an Appropriation Bill.

In order for the power utility to make up reserves it will use to suspend the shedding on Friday, communities across the country will have to face load-shedding through the weekend.

Eskom said that it received a request from the Deputy Speaker of Parliament to suspend load shedding today from 12:00 to 17:00 during a virtual sitting of Parliament to pass an Appropriation Bill.

“Passing these bills is essential to keeping government operating, as without the relevant appropriations there will be no funding for key state functions, such as hospitals, law enforcement and other essential services,” Eskom writes in a Tweet from their official Twitter account.

“The suspension of load shedding has been made possible by large industrial power consumers in South Africa who have agreed to reduce their consumption for this period to support the country,” the utility claims, but some power reserves will be used over this period as well leading to load-shedding over the weekend instead.

“All South Africans are urged to reduce their use of electricity in the national interest, particularly between 12:00 and 17:00 on Friday, as well as over the weekend,” Eskom adds.

Why is the load-shedding being suspended?

SA parliament is passing an Appropriation Bill today, which are also known as “supply or spending bills” – bills passed by the government to allow the spending of government funds for any number of purposes.

Eskom CEO Apologises for Load-shedding

Recently, Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter apologised for the current plague of load-shedding ravaging the country.

“I apologise to the nation for the hardship that we continue to inflict as a result of load-shedding, but bear with us, we are working on this,” De Ruyter says, adding that the constant blackouts were not unexpected.

“We’re working hard at catching up on maintenance that has been deferred and postponed. When I assumed my role in January last year, we communicated that during the so-called reliability recovery programme there would be an increase in the risk of load-shedding while we do this maintenance,” he said.

Unfortunately, De Ruyter says, Eskom “cannot perform miracles overnight”, citing that load-shedding will have to continue, at least for the time being.

By Luis Monzon
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