South African President Ramaphosa to cut short trip abroad amid energy crisis

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa pictured at the State Capture Inquiry on August 11, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa. /Gallo Images via Getty Images
FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa pictured at the State Capture Inquiry on August 11, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa. /Gallo Images via Getty Images

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will cut short his trip abroad to return home amid an energy crisis.

Ramaphosa is in the UK, where he is scheduled to join other world leaders on Monday for the burial of Queen Elizabeth.

He was also scheduled to fly to New York, where he was scheduled to deliver his national address at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

That engagement will however be suspended as he heads back home.

The development comes as South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, rolled out stage 6 load shedding.

Eskom, which has struggled with adequate power provision for months, initiated the shedding as generations unit at Kusile and Kriel power stations tripped.

The utility has relied on the national level rolling blackouts for months, as electricity supply falls behind electricity demand.

Opposition parties had urged Ramaphosa to return to South Africa to address the power crisis, with the Democratic Alliance (DA) calling for the declaration of a State of Disaster.

Eskom could not commit to timelines regarding the period that the stage six load shedding would last.