08 May 2016, Johannesburg — President Jacob Zuma has described his visit to power parastatal Eskom as fruitful, giving him the assurance that load shedding is a thing of the past.
The President visited the power parastatal’s offices on Friday, at Megawatt Park, in Sunninghill, as part of the Presidential Siyahlola Programme. The programme includes visits to different sectors and places to ensure that the President is aware of what is happening on the ground.
He said previously there have been problems of load shedding and it was important for him to visit the parastatal to ensure operations were running smoothly and that load shedding was a thing of the past.
“It was very important that I visited Eskom. I’ve had a very successful visit.”
The President visited the parastatal’s Integrated Generation Control Centre (IGCC) where Eskom has a national view of all its power stations.
The President also held a meeting with power station managers. He met with Eskom Chairperson Ben Ngubane together with the board and group Chief Executive Officer Brian Molefe. They made presentations that convinced him that load shedding was a thing of the past.
“Today I was assured that there will never be load shedding. I feel confident, we have won,” he said while also paying tribute to the leadership at the company.
The President said he was so impressed with the work done by Eskom employees that he was tempted to ask for a job at the utility.
“I was almost tempted to ask for a job, I love to work with people who work,” he told the staff.
The visit culminated in the President’s address to eager staff who sang and ululated upon seeing him.
In his address to staff, President Zuma said the power utility has done a good job of keeping the lights on, adding that a country’s economy cannot develop without energy.
In addition, President Zuma was informed that in the near future, South Africa will have a surplus of energy.
Eskom Group Chief Executive Brian Molefe said Eskom was happy about the President’s visit.
“We are very excited about the President’s visit and he spoke to the people who ensure that we have the energy we require. We expect to go through winter without load shedding,” said Molefe, adding that staff morale at the entity has improved.
Eskom board Chair Ben Ngubane said the entity has always enjoyed a healthy relationship with government. A relationship, he said, which is bound to improve with South Africa having experienced no load shedding in the last eight months.