- Reports have revealed that millions of rands were spent by embattled power utility Eskom on Thursday, 18 March
- Eskom suspended load-shedding in honour of Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini's memorial service
- There are conflicting reports about the exact amount of money spent, but it has been confirmed that millions were spent
Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini's memorial was held on Thursday, 18 March and power utility Eskom made an honourable decision to keep the lights on during the memorial. South Africa has faced multiple load-shedding extensions over the past two weeks.
Reports have now revealed that the embattled power utility spent millions of rands by burning diesel to keep the power on during the late King's memorial service. King Zwelithini's memorial was streamed on various platforms for South Africans to pay tribute to His Majesty.
Eskom's spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha explained that Eskom had to use nine open cycle gas turbines at a cost of around R500 000 per hour. The power was on continuously, across the nation, for four hours on Thursday.
Speaking to TimesLIVE, Mantshantsha the power utility ran five of its own open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) and four independent power producer OCGTs in order for people to tune into the King's memorial service. The report continued by saying that it cost around R20.5 million rand to keep the power on.
However, a report by The Citizen stated that Mantshantsha previously spoke about running OCGTs and the cost being around R10 million per hour. This would mean that the four-hour suspension of load-shedding and supplementation with OCGTs would've cost around R40 million.
Eskom has not released a statement confirming the exact amount of money spent to keep the power on.
On Thursday, Briefly.co.za reported on SA's response to the suspension of load-shedding due to the King's memorial service. Many South Africans shared mixed reactions to the news. A lot of them questioned why Eskom could stop load-shedding for one event while on many other days the country has been plunged into darkness.
Read a few of their interesting tweets below:
"Historically significant to some Zulus and not the whole country. I don’t understand why this Zulu king is treated like he was a King of SA."
"Eskom's lying, there is already load-shedding here in Cosmo city."
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