cosatuBL Premium reports that trade union federation Cosatu does not believe that the rolling electricity blackouts that have hit the country are manageable and has called the situation a crisis.  

On Monday, state-owned power utility Eskom moved to stage 6 load-shedding, which was the first time it had removed so much power from the grid.  But public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan told the nation on television that the situation at the power utility was a “manageable crisis”.  Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said on Tuesday that the problems at the utility were huge.  “We don’t think it is manageable.  It [comes] at a very, very high cost,” Ntshalintshali said.  He added that the continuation of load-shedding was “unaffordable”.  “We are at stage 6. What will come next?” he asked.  Ntshalintshali said the manner in which the government had dealt with the electricity crisis was “totally unsatisfactory” as there was no sense of when load-shedding would end and what the plans and turnaround strategies were.  “We need the full detail so that we can be confident that government, the minister ... are working to fix Eskom,” he stated.  Ntshalintshali also said Cosatu had no confidence in the Eskom board.  Gordhan’s spokesperson, Sam Mkokeli, said the minister was working flat out to minimise the effect of this week’s load-shedding, “which he considers very serious”.

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