Former President Thabo Mbeki Emphasises Urgent Need for Coal Station Renovations to End Loadshedding

Former President Thabo Mbeki Emphasises Urgent Need for Coal Station Renovations to End Loadshedding

  • Former President Thabo Mbeki believes South Africa's rolling blackout crisis can be resolved through the renovation of old coal power stations
  • Mbeki apologised for the slow response in handling the energy crisis in 2007 and emphasised the importance of investing in station renovations
  • South Africans slammed the former president for his remark, saying that loadshedding wouldn't be an issue if he acted while he was the president

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NEW YORK - Former President Thabo Mbeki believes the rolling blackout crisis in South Africa can be solved.

Thabo Mbeki (Former President of South Africa) during the funeral service of former Minister in the Presidency
Former President Thabo Mbeki says the energy crisis in South Africa can be resolved. Images: Luba Lesolle/Gallo Images via Getty Images & Stock Photo/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Thabo Mbeki says coal stations should be renovated

Speaking at the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York, Mbeki said coal power stations needed to be renovated

The former president agreed with people who said the coal stations are old and added that they need to be renovated on top of running maintenance, as well, reports SABC News.

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"Everybody says they are very old, and that is correct. So, what you do apart from ordinary maintenance, you need renovation of the stations. So you put the new money into renovating them. Clearly, there needs to be a movement in regard to the renewable energy side of this thing," said Mbeki.

Mbeki apologised for his administration's slow action in handling the energy crisis when it first crept up in 2007 and maintained that renovating power stations was the best course of action.

South Africa to spend R30 billion to keep lights on

According to IOL, the government recently agreed to give Eskom R30 billion to buy diesel to keep the lights on.

The Minister of Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, said that amount was justifiable because of the ailing economy.

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The minister explained that loadshedding has cost over 600 000 people their jobs last year alone. He said if higher stages of loadshedding were implemented, more people would lose their jobs.

Ramokgopa said if diesel is not used to keep the lights on, we can expect Stage 6 loadshedding, which will have dire consequences on the economy.

South Africans have mixed reactions to Mbeki's loadshedding statement

Richard Mbetera said:

"See ...that is the guy who can tell us the truth ."

L.J. Mamashila commented:

"He's the reason we are having load shedding. He was advised by electricity experts in 1998 to build new power stations, but as president, he refused. Loadshedding started in 2007 while he was still president."

Thokozani Ntonto Shezi said:

"Wonder why he says that now whereas he was warned didn't heed the warning during his tenure - history will judge him accordingly."

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Jafta Themba Thembinkosi commented:

"It can be solved if next year we vote wisely and remove the ANC government."

Thamsanqa Mhlongo

"He failed to do that himself. The problem was reported to him, and he never acted. He must stop talking as if he delivered electricity."

Sifiso Cibane said:

"The only president who had a plan to end loadshedding was Jacob Zuma, with nuclear power station."

Vho Tshitamba Gimmy commented:

"Wasn't it under his term that it started spiralling out of control?"

Eskom denies secretly implementing stage 8 loadshedding

Briefly News previously reported that State-owned power utility Eskom has denied allegations that rolling blackouts went beyond Stage 6.

This comes after TimesLIVE reported that the power utility secretly implemented Stage 8 loadshedding.

According to EWN, energy analysts noticed that Eskom shed 7 000 megawatts off the national grid, which indicated that it went above Stage 6 and possibly implemented Stage 7 or higher on Thursday, 13 April.

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Source: Briefly News

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