The woes at Eskom do not seem to be abating as on Sunday, the Parliamentary leader of the opposition, Mmusi Maimane called on government and, in particular, Deputy President, Cyril Ramaposa to update parliament and the country in general on the state of affairs at the beleaguered parastatal. Maimane said that he had written a letter to the Deputy President of the country and the ruling ANC, Ramaposa requesting that he present a comprehensive report to parliament so that the country is kept up to speed about the goings on at the power giant. He said that this would help to restore trust in the parastatal by members of the public and he proposed that this be done at least until the crisis at Eskom had been resolved.
He added that it was worrying to note that there were documents that indicated that the personnel at the electricity giant were busy with what was refered to as Breaking Dawn, which is a code name for the parastatal’s measure of its level of preparedness in dealing with a complete and total blackout in the country. Said Mr Maimane, ““Documents show that Eskom is running simulation exercises in preparation for a national blackout.These simulation exercises are being run under the codename Breaking Dawn, under the command of Ayanda Noah, Eskom’s Chairperson of the Emergency Response Command Centre.”
In response to the information that they were running an operation code named Breaking Dawn, the parastatal did not dispute that and rather explained laboriously that such exercises were performed regularly to ensure that they were prepared to deal with what they termed ‘extreme events’. “In the past these exercises have addressed issues such as preparedness for emergency demand reduction, preparations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, local elections and the African Cup of Nations. No action was needed to be taken by members of the public as this is only a simulation exercise,” their statement said.
Eskom’s statement further revealed that they had many measures that were in place for ensuring that events did not deteriorate to the level of a total blackout. One of these ways, the statement added, was by having loadshedding. It stated that there were many other multi layered both manual and automatic mechanisms of ensuring that the national grid was not made vulnerable as to require a national blackout.