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Outages: Ramaphosa to miss UN General Assembly over power crisis in South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa

*South Africa’s power utility firm Eskom has reportedly implemented outages that have choked economic growth in Africa’s most industrialised country for over a decade

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa will miss the United Nations (UN) General Assembly holding this week.

Instead, President Ramaphosa will be returning to South Africa (SA) from Britain to address an urgent national power crisis, his Spokesman told local media, including television channel eNCA.

It was learnt the South African country’s power utility Eskom moved to “Stage 6” electricity outages Sunday, September 18, for only the third time ever.

By implication, most South African consumers are without electricity supply for at least six hours a day.

Eskom has implemented outages for over a decade that have choked economic growth in Africa’s most industrialised country.

Amid growing public anger, Ramaphosa pledged new steps to address the crisis July this year, but power cuts have persisted.

This is not the first time he has cut short a foreign trip over the power crisis, report said.

It is also recalled in 2019, Ramaphosa ended a visit to Egypt early so he could return home to deal with the same issue.

Presidential spokesman Vincent Magwenya told privately-owned television channel eNCA that the president, currently in Britain for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, hitherto was scheduled to travel to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly.

“He has decided to cancel that,” Magwenya said.

Ramaphosa will instead travel back to South Africa immediately after Monday’s funeral.

The President wants to better understand what led to a large number of recent breakdowns at Eskom’s generation fleet and what progress has been made on the interventions he announced in July, Magwenya added.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s statement at the UN General Assembly will now be delivered by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor, stated the Spokesman.

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