JOHANNESBURG | Pravin Gordhan, the Minister of Public Enterprises, has stated that Eskom is doing everything possible to guarantee that people do not vote by candlelight on November 1st.
The minister and Eskom executives briefed the media on the health of the national grid during an abrupt press conference on Wednesday night.
With the country currently experiencing stage 4 power disruptions, Eskom has been fighting to keep the lights on.
South Africa’s grid has been on the verge of collapse for years due to old infrastructure, mismanagement, and corruption.
South Africans are once again thrown into darkness just days before local government polls, prompting fears that the electrical crisis may disrupt free and fair elections.
Minister Gordhan expressed confidence that safeguards had been put in place to ensure that voting and vote counting would not be hampered by power outages unless there was an “unexpected incident,” as he phrased it.
Generators and technicians will also be on ready to assist at any voting sites, according to the minister.
“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 using as South Africans when we go to vote are all pre-charged and have a 12-hour battery life.” Said Gordhan.
Gordhan has apologised for the confusion caused by the power outages ahead of the elections, stating that restoring the country’s electricity supply is now a far larger priority.