CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
South Africa’s power
shortage worsened on Friday as large parts of the country were gripped by loadshedding.
Stage 2 rotational loadshedding was implemented from 09:00 a.m.
and was likely to continue until 22:00 p.m. as a result of loss of additional
power generation units overnight, said electricity utility Eskom, which provides
more than 95 percent of the electricity consumed in the country.
Stage 2 calls for 2,000 MW to be rotationally loadshed nationally at a given
This was the most serious load shedding this year. Previously, Stage 1 load
shedding, which allows for up to 1,000 MW of the national load to be shed once a
day, had been implemented several times.
If the situation worsens, Stage 3, which allows up to 4,000 MW to be shed,
will be implemented.
Load shedding is implemented rotationally as a last resort to protect the
power system from a total collapse, Eskom said.
"We continue to appeal to residents and businesses to use electricity
sparingly during this period.
"Please switch off geysers as well as all
non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand,"
the state-run parastatal said.
The generation and distribution of electricity in the country has been
constrained because Eskom is running short of coal, which the utility relies on
to generate power stations, raising fears that similar loadshedding is on the
way as in 2014 and 2015 when frequent loadshedding gripped the country.
Since 2008, South Africa has suffered from power insufficiency which has led
to economic losses of an estimated 300 billion rand (about 23 billion U.S.
South Africans face high risk of power cuts over weekend
JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) --
South African power utility Eskom on
Friday asked the general public to continue using electricity sparingly,
cautioning about a possible risk of load shedding.
"Eskom is currently implementing stage two of load shedding from 09:00 to 10
pm today (Friday) due to unplanned outages," Eskom’s national spokesperson Khulu
Phasiwe said, adding that the risk of power cuts remains high for both Saturday
"Despite demand being generally lower over the weekend, the probability of
load shedding is high as a result of a shortage of capacity," he said.
There are eight stages of load shedding in South Africa, allowing 1000 MW to
8000 MW to be shed from the national grid.
Phasiwe blamed the weekend planned load shedding on required infrastructure
Generation plant is out on planned maintenance and there is a higher than
expected number of units on unplanned maintenance due to technical faults.
Cahora Bassa hydropower plant is still supplying 700 MW less to the grid as a
result of a damaged transmission line which occurred on Wednesday, he said.
Eskom said it is working around the clock to ensure that the situation is
The utility has been battling severe coal shortages in recent weeks and
recently said that load shedding remains a possibility for the rest of the year.
Phakamani Hadebe, CEO of Eskom, said on Wednesday when releasing financial
"The past six months have been a difficult period for Eskom ... with steady
decline on coal levels threatening the firm’s ability to keep the lights on."
Jabu Mabuza, chairman of the Eskom board, also stated:
"Eskom is in a state of severe financial difficulty.
"In its current state Eskom is not sustainable."
It is feared the country will be facing regular electricity outages
throughout next year.
Cape Town city South Africa relaxes water restrictions
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
The South African City of Cape Town, once
on the brink of becoming the world’s first metropolis to run out of water,
announced on Thursday it will lower water restrictions starting from Saturday.
Water restrictions and the associated tariffs will be lowered from Level 5 to
Level 3 recovery restrictions, City Mayor Dan Plato said.
This means that the usage of water per person per day will be increased from
70 litres to 105 litres, or from 500 million litres to 650 million litres of
collective usage per day.
Tariffs will also be lowered to Level 3 which means that if residents use
less than 6,000 litres per month, they can expect to pay 35.5 percent less, City
Mayor Plato said.
Meanwhile, the 40-percent restriction on water usage applicable to businesses
has also been removed but the sector is strongly encouraged to continue
implementing and investigating the further efficient use of water in their
operations, Plato said.
This decision was made following the National Department of Water and
Sanitation’s latest water assessment, according to Plato.
Restrictions remain on a fairly strict recovery level as a precaution to deal
with rainfall uncertainty in 2019 and 2020, he said.
The city views 2019 as a recovery year after having successfully emerged from
a three-year unprecedented drought.
After months of good rain, the city has seen the average dam level reaching
over 70 percent, from a historical low of about 16 percent in the beginning of
Based on the national government’s assessment of the hydrological year, a
saving of between 10 percent and 20 percent for urban water users has been
However, the city has decided to implement a more cautious 30-percent saving
to help with the recovery of the dams and to cater for the uncertainty that
exists around rainfall volumes and frequency in 2019, according to Plato.
"We encourage Cape Town’s water ambassadors to maintain their water-wise
approach during the recovery phase and as the metro moves towards becoming a
more water-sensitive city in the near future," the mayor said.
On Jan. 1 this year, the city began to implement Level 6 water restrictions
amid predictions that the city might be the first major metropolis in the world
to run out of water.
The city then made an emergency plan to implement Day Zero in March.
Day Zero refers to the time when dams suppling water to the city would run
dry, the city’s taps would be switched off and water would have to be collected
from designated points.
In September, the city lowered water restrictions from Level 6 to Level 5
thanks to substantial rainfall.
As the second-most populous urban area in South Africa after Johannesburg,
Cape Town is the capital of the Western Cape province and the seat of South
Africa’s Parliament, with a population of nearly 4 million.
In 2014, the city was named the best place in the world to visit by both the
American New York Times and the British Daily Telegraph.
South African court dismisses application to set aside report on land reform
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- The Western Cape High Court in South
Africa on Friday dismissed lobby group AfriForum’s application to set aside a
parliamentary report on land expropriation without compensation.
Meting out the ruling, the court said a debate on the report can go ahead in
the National Assembly before adoption.
Earlier this month, AgriForum approached the court, seeking an order to
prevent the report from being passed onto the National Assembly for debate and
This came after Parliament’s Joint Constitutional Review Committee (JCRC)
adopted the report in favor of amending the Constitution to allow land
expropriation without compensation.
Specifically, the committee recommends that section 25 of the Constitution be
amended to make it explicitly clear that expropriation of land without
compensation by the state in the public interest should be one mechanism to
address the injustices of the past, inflicted on the majority of South Africans.
The JCRC adopted its report following a series of extensive public hearings
from June 26 to August 4, as well as a number of workshops and discussions in
AgriForum filed an application to the court after its request to have the
report set aside was rejected by Parliament, which reciprocated by filing a
legal affidavit to counter AgriForum’s court bid.
Parliament argues that AfriForum is deliberately trying to frustrate
Parliament’s legislative process.
The JCRC report, wich will be referring to the National Assembly (Lower
House) and National Council of Provinces (Upper House) for consideration, is an
interim step, similar to a bill, parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said.
"It is not final in effect. It may be accepted or it may not," said Mothabo.
The ongoing land reform has sparked a heated debate in South Africa.
Opponents argue that the process will drive away white farmers, kill jobs and
threaten food security.
But the government has assured that it will pursue the land reform without
destabilizing the agricultural sector, endangering food security in the country,
or undermining economic growth and job creation.
South African police probing mob justice attacks that killed 11
JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) --
South African police are investigating
separate incidents of mob justice attacks that have left at least 11 people dead
and properties burnt in Sondela informal settlement in Rustenburg, North West
The bodies of the deceased were discovered at various locations within the
community in the past week.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone told Xinhua on Friday those
murdered were accused of being involved in criminal activities within the
"We are still investigating including determining the motive of the
incidents, but we suspect that victims were attacked after being accused of
committing crimes," he said.
Police have made six arrests in connection with the Sondela killings.
While some made their court appearance on Friday, others accused will be in
court next Monday.
Criminal justice experts blamed community’s lack of confidence in the
criminal justice system for escalating mob justice attacks.
Shadrack Gutto, a professor at University of South Africa, told Xinhua:
"Part of the problem is that people call it mob justice and I call mob
injustice because it is illegal.
"People must understand that you cannot carry out violence and call it mob
Gutto said frustrated communities believe that taking the law into their own
hands is their only solution to resolving crime.
"People do it because the
criminal justice system is weak.
"People are frustrated, they don’t know what to do with crime. Instead of
reporting a crime to police, they identify the person they think commit it."
Over 840 killings recorded by the police in 2017 were associated with mob
justice in South Africa.
Parts of Southern Africa suffer from by crippling power blackouts
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa signs National Minimum
Wage Bill into law
South Africans remain divided on Recommended land amendment
to the Constitution