Presidency: SA can't put all its eggs in the Eskom basket

Load-shedding back to Stage 4 until further notice

Ramaphosa was speaking after meeting with the Board and Management of Eskom on Wednesday, where he was briefed on plans to mitigate and resolve the current electricity crisis affecting the country.

Sabotage had also been a factor which worsened load shedding, he said.

In a first for the country, the utility surpassed the Stage 4 mark and implemented Stage 6 load shedding on Monday.

Rechargeable lights, power banks, solar panels, gas stoves, generators, and power invertors were flying off the shelves as South Africans stocked up and prepared for more rolling blackouts.

South Africa's cash-strapped state-owned companies have been a major headache for the president as he seeks to reverse years of economic stagnation.

Acts of sabotage at Eskom led to a massive power loss of 2,000MW during the most recent load-shedding period.

Credit rating agency Moody's has said Eskom's troubles endanger South Africa's only surviving investment-grade rating.

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Ramaphosa supports Mantashe's move to fast-track renewable energy projects by independent power producers, Diko explains. "It will be noticeable", said James Wellsted, spokesman for Sibanye-Stillwater.

Eskom head of Generation Bheki Nxumalo later told journalists that the incident of sabotage took place last week at Tutuka Power Station in Mpumalanga. It mines coal, diamonds, iron ore and platinum in South Africa through its De Beers, Kumba Iron Ore and Anglo American Platinum businesses.

Sibanye-Stillwater said its underground operations had resumed on Tuesday afternoon but would still operate with 10% less power than normal.

A Gold Fields spokesman said the impact on its South Deep mine was limited, though prolonged power cuts would present challenges.

Following a request by Eskom, the South African electricity utility, Petra halted produced, hoisting and processing at the Cullinan, Finsch and Koffiefontein mines on December 9.

It is still restricting power usage - operating with 20% less power - in line with Eskom's requirements. The incessant rains continue to impact coal handling and operations at power stations.

He said that the acts of sabotage which threatened the national power grid would be investigated and added that Eskom's security would be increased to prevent future sabotage.

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