Gordhan: Eskom doing everything it can to ensure power cuts don't affect polls

6 months ago 64

Just days before the local government election, South Africans are being plunged into darkness, again, raising fears that the electricity crisis could prevent free and fair elections.

A ballot box. Cindy Archillies/Eyewitness News

A ballot box. Cindy Archillies/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has reiterated that Eskom was doing everything in its power to ensure that you did not cast your vote potentially by candlelight on 1 November.

During an abrupt media briefing on Wednesday night, the minister and Eskom officials updated the country on the state of the national grid.

Eskom has been battling to keep the lights on, with the country currently on stage 4 power cuts.

ALSO READ: Gordhan: Load shedding to be downgraded to stage 3 on Wed night

For many years, South Africa’s grid has edged closer to collapse as a result of aging infrastructure, mismanagement and corruption.

Just days before the local government election, South Africans are being plunged into darkness, again, raising fears that the electricity crisis could prevent free and fair elections.

Minister Gordhan said that he was confident that measures had been put in place to ensure voting and vote-counting would not be affected by power cuts unless, he said, there was an "unexpected event".

The minister said that generators and technicians would also be on standby to assist at any voting stations.

"In addition, the IEC informs us that each of these centres has generator capacity in the event that something untoward actually occurs. The scanners that we are used as South African when we go to vote are all pre-charged and have a 12-hour battery life."

Gordhan has apologised for the uncertainty caused by the power cuts ahead of the elections, saying that there was now a far greater urgency to stabilise the country’s electricity supply.

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