Neelam Rahim | email@example.com
07 December 2023 | 17:21 CAT
Dr Oscar Van Heerden penned an op-ed published on the News24 website that emphasized the urgent need for action, suggesting that Eskom now poses a clear and present danger to the nation’s security.
Dr Oscar van Heerden is a senior research fellow for African Diplomacy and Leadership at the University of Johannesburg, and he speaks to Radio Islam International about the persistent challenge of load shedding in South Africa.
“It’s now more than 15 years ago since we first experienced load shedding, and there was a commitment made that our government would fix this problem by building additional capacity through Medupi and Kusile power stations to the tune of billions of rands. It was built, completed, rebuilt and completed again, and yet, still more load shedding. Mothballed power stations were revamped and reintroduced into the grid, still load shedding continues,” Dr Van Heerden stated.
“A minister was specifically appointed to solve this problem; still, load shedding continues. Every time it looks like some people are beginning to get to grips with the overall problem in Eskom, they get fired or are forced to resign,’ something drastic needs to happen before the entire grid collapses and the economy of SA goes down with it. With industries, such as VW and ArcelorMittal, threatening closure of their respective operations in SA, leading to huge job losses, the threat named Eskom is real,” he said.
Dr Van Heerden pointed out that something drastic needs to happen before the entire grid collapses and the economy of SA goes down with it. With industries such as VW and ArcelorMittal threatening closure of their respective operations in SA, leading to huge job losses, the threat named Eskom is real.
Dr Van Heerden believes President Cyril Ramaphosa must declare a state of emergency and institute measures to rid the country of this impending catastrophe.
“Reprioritize funds from other sources and redirect it to this crisis, appoint several private sector engineering firms with very specific tasks to upgrade, upskill, retrofit and redo all component parts of the entire Eskom ecosystem. Place very tight timelines on all of these tasks, so we may know what and when to expect it,” he stated.
Listen to the full interview on the Daily Round-Up with Moulana Junaid Kharsany.