City Press http://www.citypress.co.za The home of City Press online Wed, 28 Jan 2015 06:01:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Two held for Langlaagte looting http://www.citypress.co.za/news/two-held-langlaagte-looting/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=two-held-langlaagte-looting http://www.citypress.co.za/news/two-held-langlaagte-looting/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 06:01:11 +0000 http://www.citypress.co.za/?p=151188 Two men have been arrested in connection with the looting of a shop owned by a Somalian in Langlaagte, south of Johannesburg, on the weekend.

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Two men have been arrested in connection with the looting of a shop owned by a Somalian in Langlaagte, south of Johannesburg, on the weekend.

“We arrested two people on Monday who were in possession of a gearbox that was from a vehicle owned by the immigrant whose spaza shop was looted on Sunday night in Langlaagte,” Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale said this morning.

On Sunday, two people who were part of a group that went to the shop with an intention to loot it were shot and killed.

A building next to the shop was set alight. During the commotion, shots were fired and the two men were killed. A case of arson and murder was being investigated, Makgale said.

No reported incidents of looting had taken place overnight.

The number of people arrested in connection with the looting and violence across Gauteng now stood at 180, Makgale said.

The unrest, which spread from Soweto last week to Kagiso on the West Rand, Sebokeng in the Vaal, Eden Park in Ekurhuleni and Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, has been labelled by some as xenophobic.

It was sparked by the shooting of 14-year-old Siphiwe Mahori last Monday.

Mahori had allegedly been part of a group who allegedly tried to rob a shop kept by Somalian Alodixashi Sheik Yusuf. He was killed when Yusuf allegedly shot at the group.

The shooting was followed by a wave of looting of shops owned and run by immigrants, causing several deaths, including a baby who was trampled by a group of people.

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SA on power alert: Eskom http://www.citypress.co.za/news/sa-power-alert-eskom/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sa-power-alert-eskom http://www.citypress.co.za/news/sa-power-alert-eskom/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 05:40:10 +0000 http://www.citypress.co.za/?p=151185 Following yesterday’s round of load shedding, South Africa is on “power alert” again this morning.

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Following yesterday’s round of load shedding, South Africa is on “power alert” again this morning.

“The power system remains vulnerable, meaning that any extra load or faults in the system may necessitate load shedding today,” the electricity provider posted on its Twitter feed shortly after 6.15am.

Another post minutes later read: “Eskom calls on consumers to urgently switch off geysers, air conditioners, pool pumps and all nonessential appliances throughout the day.”

Yesterday, acting chief executive Dan Marokane said Eskom implemented stage two rolling power cuts to help bolster power supply for the rest of the week.

“We moved to stage two in order to manage our reserves at our pumped storage schemes and gas turbines so that we can better manage the rest of the week,” Marokane said.

Eskom began with stage one rotational power cuts yesterday, but later escalated to stage two.

Stage one allows for up to 1000MW of the national load to be cut, stage two for up to 2000MW, and stage three for up to 4000MW.

Eskom said the intensified power cuts were necessary because of a shortage of generation capacity.

“At our pumped storage schemes [which use water to generate electricity], the dam levels are low because we were not able to pump the water back to full capacity over the weekend,” it said yesterday afternoon.

This was because Eskom had to use its pumped storage schemes over the weekend to meet demand.

“Ordinarily, the weekends are used to pump our dam levels to maximum capacity in preparation for the forecasted increased demand in electricity during the week.”

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Mexico students: ‘All 43 are dead’ http://www.citypress.co.za/top-stories/mexico-students-43-dead/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mexico-students-43-dead http://www.citypress.co.za/top-stories/mexico-students-43-dead/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 05:30:13 +0000 http://www.citypress.co.za/?p=151181 Investigators are now certain that 43 college students missing since September were killed and incinerated after they were seized by police in the southern Guerrero state, the Mexican attorney general said yesterday.

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Investigators are now certain that 43 college students missing since September were killed and incinerated after they were seized by police in the southern Guerrero state, the Mexican attorney general said yesterday.

It was the first time Jesus Murillo Karam said definitely that all were dead, even though Mexican authorities have DNA identification for only one student and a declaration from a laboratory in Innsbruck, Austria, that it appears impossible to identify the others.

The attorney general cited confessions and forensic evidence from an area near a garbage dump where the September 26 crime occurred that showed the fuel and temperature of the fire were sufficient to turn 43 bodies into ashes.

“The evidence allows us to determine that the students were kidnapped, killed, burnt and thrown into the river,” Murillo Karam said in a press conference that included a video reconstruction of the mass slaying and of the investigation into the case.

He added that “there is not a single shred of evidence that the army intervened … not a single shred of evidence of the participation of the army,” as relatives of the victims have claimed.

Murillo Karam’s explanation seemed unlikely to quell the controversy and doubts about the case, in which the federal government has been criticised for acting slowly and callously. Thousands of people demonstrated in Mexico City on Monday night, demanding the students be returned alive.

“They pretty much gave the same story as they had given two months ago. There are not many additional details,” said analyst Alejandro Hope.

“They are searching for closure but I’m not sure they’re going to get it.”

The attorney general has come under attack from many quarters, including the students’ relatives and fire experts, who say the government’s version of what happened is implausible. Family members are still searching in hopes of finding the students alive.

The Argentine Forensic Anthropologists, an independent team hired by parents to work with federal investigators, said on Sunday that there is still not “sufficient evidence” to link the charred remains found by authorities in a river in the town of Cocula to what happened at the rubbish dump.

Valentin Cornelio Gonzalez, brother-in-law of missing student Abel Garcia Hernandez, said the shifting theories of what happened to the students have left him and other family members not believing anything that officials say.

“On a personal level, it makes me mad because this is what they’ve always done,” he said of Tuesday’s announcement.

“There’s no chance that the parents are going to believe the PGR [saying] that they’re dead. … They are going to look for them alive.”

Murillo Karam said the conclusion was made based on the testimony of a key suspect arrested two weeks ago, Felipe Rodriguez Salgado, who said he was called to get rid of the students. There are also 39 confessions.

Based on samples of petrol, diesel and steel from burnt tyres, he said, they concluded that the amount of heat from the fire and the location could have kept the blaze going for hours, and that the remains were crushed afterwards.

Authorities say they were burnt the night of September 26 and over the next day, and their incinerated remains were bagged up and thrown into a nearby river. The remains in the bags found in the river had traces of the garbage dump where the fire occurred, Murillo Karam added.

The scene of the crime was an 800m ravine that resembled a furnace, said criminal investigations chief Tomas Zeron.

Murillo Karam said the information was based as well on 386 declarations, 487 forensic tests, 16 raids and two reconstructions.

So far 99 people have been detained in connection with the crime, including the former mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca.

Murillo Karam said the motive was that the members of a local gang, the Guerreros Unidos, believed the young men were rival gang members when they hijacked some public transit buses in Iguala. But many of the suspects testified that they knew the men were students. The students, known for commandeering buses and taking over toll booths to support their leftist causes, said they were taking the buses for transport to an upcoming demonstration in Mexico City.

“They thought they were infiltrated,” Murillo Karam said at the press conference, adding that there is no indication that the students were part of any criminal group.

The case has sparked protests inside and outside Mexico over the four months since the students disappeared, and has forced the Mexican government to turn its attention from touting economic and education reforms to dealing with the country’s crime and insecurity problems.

Hope said the protests will likely continue as long as there is no unimpeachable evidence that the remains belong to the students. Also unclear are questions such as why the gang members thought the students were rivals, and why they would have killed them even after learning that wasn’t the case.

“We know the who, the what, the when and the where. We don’t know the why,” Hope said.

“They have yet to tell a compelling story of why this happened. It doesn’t matter how many people they detain – unless they answer that question, the whole thing will remain under a halo of mystery.”

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After snow storm hype, New York returns to normal http://www.citypress.co.za/top-stories/snow-storm-hype-new-york-returns-normal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=snow-storm-hype-new-york-returns-normal http://www.citypress.co.za/top-stories/snow-storm-hype-new-york-returns-normal/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 05:15:13 +0000 http://www.citypress.co.za/?p=151178 Life in New York City returned to normal – more or less – after a storm expected to dump record amounts of snow on the city laid down only a moderate snow blanket.

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Life in New York City returned to normal – more or less – after a storm expected to dump record amounts of snow on the city laid down only a moderate snow blanket.

The city that never sleeps felt rather sluggish yesterday as life began to return to normal after a storm expected to dump historic amounts of snow delivered a more modest 15 to 25 centimetres.

The city, where officials feared the worst, had been shut down on Monday night with all transportation systems suspended and cars banned from the roads. Following warnings of severe weather, government offices and schools were ordered to remain closed yesterday.

However, roads were opened and mass transit services were restored yesterday morning as the city awoke to a manageable amount of snow blanketing the streets.

McKenzie Hayes (22) and Josh McKie (25) were having a snowball fight in Brooklyn’s McCarren Park yesterday.

“I was expecting something really serious, like not being able to leave the house for possibly a day, maybe losing power,” Hayes said.

“I was so disappointed, I wanted loads and loads of snow.”

Officials were forced to admit the forecast for New York City was off.

“The storm in general was less destructive than predicted,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

With several businesses closed and subways running on weekend schedules, yesterday felt more like a sleepy holiday than the aftermath of a large snow storm.

The biggest beneficiaries were perhaps children and dogs who got to enjoy a day in the park with just the right amount of snow for frolicking, sledding or building a snowman.

New York City’s Central Park was bustling with children dressed in brightly coloured snowsuits sledding from small hills and throwing snowballs.

Roads in Manhattan were slushy Tuesday morning with mostly taxis and buses driving at low speeds. However, as the sun came out later in the day, more and more cars could be seen on the roads as life returned to normal.

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AirAsia crash: Preliminary report filed, won’t be made public http://www.citypress.co.za/top-stories/airasia-crash-preliminary-report-filed-will-made-public/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=airasia-crash-preliminary-report-filed-will-made-public http://www.citypress.co.za/top-stories/airasia-crash-preliminary-report-filed-will-made-public/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 05:03:20 +0000 http://www.citypress.co.za/?p=151175 Indonesian investigators have submitted a preliminary report on last month’s crash of an AirAsia plane to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

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Indonesian investigators have submitted a preliminary report on last month’s crash of an AirAsia plane to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

“It has been sent to the civil aviation organisation but won’t be made public,” Nurcahyo Utomo of the National Transport Safety Committee said today.

The organisation requires a preliminary report within 30 days after an air accident, he said.

The report contains general information, such as the number of passengers and details on the aircraft, but not an analysis of data from the flight recorders, he said.

Flight QZ8501 was en route from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore when it crashed into the Java Sea on December 28, killing all 162 people on board.

Only 70 bodies have been found.

The National Search and Rescue Agency was expected to announce today the future of the operation to recover bodies and aircraft wreckage, after teams failed to raise the broken pieces of the fuselage.

The military said yesterday it was ending the search and pulling out its personnel.

“The fuselage is no longer intact and it’s fragile like crackers after a month in the sea, so it’s very difficult to lift it,” armed forces chief General Moeldoko said.

Many divers had to be hospitalised for serious decompression sickness after spending days in the sea, the military said.

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Japan condemns new hostage video as deadline looms http://www.citypress.co.za/news/japan-premier-condemns-new-hostage-video-deadline-looms/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=japan-premier-condemns-new-hostage-video-deadline-looms http://www.citypress.co.za/news/japan-premier-condemns-new-hostage-video-deadline-looms/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 04:55:00 +0000 http://www.citypress.co.za/?p=151170 Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today condemned as “despicable” an Islamic State video threatening to kill a Japanese hostage within 24 hours.

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Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today condemned as “despicable” an Islamic State video threatening to kill a Japanese hostage within 24 hours.

An audio message on the video posted online late yesterday appeared to be the voice of journalist Kenji Goto pleading for the Jordanian and Japanese governments to carry out a prisoner exchange to save his life.

“I feel strong resentment toward such an extremely despicable act,” Abe said today.

In the recording, Goto said the jihadist group would kill him and a Jordanian Air Force pilot captured in Syria unless a convicted terrorist held by Jordan, Sajida al-Rishawi, was freed within 24 hours, which would be late today in Japan.

Iraqi al-Rishawi is a would-be suicide bomber who was sentenced to death for taking part in a series of attacks in the Jordanian capital Amman in 2005. She said her bomb had failed to detonate, broadcaster Al Jazeera reported.

“Her for me, a straight exchange. Any more delays by the Jordanian government will mean they are responsible for the death of the pilot which will then be followed by mine. I only have 24 hours left to live, and the pilot has even less,” Goto says in the audio recording.

On Sunday, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the beheading of Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa.

Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported yesterday that Jordanian authorities were considering releasing al-Rishawi in exchange for Goto and the pilot, First Lieutenant Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh.

“Japan has sought cooperation from Jordan in an extremely severe situation for Mr Goto’s swift release, and this policy will not change,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said today.

The pilot’s father, Safi al-Kaseasbeh, made a last-ditch appeal for Jordan “to meet the demands” of the Islamic State group.

“All people must know, from the head of the regime to everybody else, that the safety of Mu’ath means the stability of Jordan, and the death of Mu’ath means chaos in Jordan,” he said.

About 200 relatives of the pilot demonstrated outside the prime minister’s office in the Jordanian capital of Amman, chanting anti-government slogans and urging it to meet the captors’ demands.

A member of Jordan’s Parliament said the country was in indirect talks with the militants to secure the hostages’ release. Bassam al-Manasseer, chairperson of the foreign affairs committee, said that the negotiations are taking place through religious and tribal leaders in Iraq, adding that Jordan and Japan won’t negotiate directly with the Islamic State and won’t free al-Rishawi in exchange for Goto only.

Manasseer’s comments were the strongest suggestion yet that authorities in Jordan and Japan may be open to a prisoner exchange, something that would go against the policy of the kingdom’s main ally, the United States, which opposes negotiating with extremists.

Japan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yasuhide Nakayama was in Amman to coordinate hostage-release efforts with Jordan, but refused to comment on details of the talks early today.

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Solidarity, SAPS lock horns over affirmative action http://www.citypress.co.za/news/solidarity-saps-lock-horns-affirmative-action/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=solidarity-saps-lock-horns-affirmative-action http://www.citypress.co.za/news/solidarity-saps-lock-horns-affirmative-action/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:53:34 +0000 http://www.citypress.co.za/?p=151167 The new ranking system of the SA Police Service has been deemed "inflexible" by the Labour Court in Johannesburg, says trade union Solidarity.

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The new ranking system of the SA Police Service has been deemed “inflexible” by the Labour Court in Johannesburg, says trade union Solidarity.

Solidarity today said it was the first victory for the union in the case against the ranking system after the court found that the system was not flexible.

However, the SA Police Service responded by saying Solidarity’s claim misrepresented the court’s findings.

Solidarity claimed the court indicated that the SAPS had not followed a flexible process when it promoted police members according to its new ranking system in 2011.

Union spokesperson Dirk Groenewald said the Employment Equity Act provided for the use of numerical race targets for granting promotions and making appointments.

“The use of quotas, which is tantamount to the reservation of jobs, however, is not allowed because of the fact that it is inflexible,” said Groenewald.

He said the SAPS would tomorrow bring a formal application to amend its pleadings before the court.

Solidarity would then study the application to decide whether to oppose it.

“Solidarity believes today’s ruling yet again proves that the process the SAPS had followed in making the promotions is nothing but a quota system,” said Groenewald.

Solidarity said the police argued that the promotion of police members done in accordance with its new ranking system was flexible and that race was not a definite criterion.

However, the court indicated that the SAPS could not prove in its pleadings that the process was flexible, it said.

“At the request of Solidarity, the court then ruled that the SAPS was bound by its argument as indicated in its pleadings, after which the SAPS requested to amend its pleadings,” said the trade union.

National police spokesperson Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale said that the court had not made a ruling about whether the system was flexible or not.

“All the court said was that SAPS should amend its document to include remarks about the flexibility of the system,” he said.

He said the statement by Solidarity was “an amateurish attempt” by the labour union to “misrepresent, for their benefit, the court proceedings”.

“The crux of this matter is that Solidarity does not want the SAPS to take employment equity into account when promoting personnel. They only want white officers to be promoted,” he said.

“Our policy caters for all races and we want to ensure that we finalise this matter speedily so that we can promote our police officers,” said Makgale.

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Bafana coming home http://www.citypress.co.za/sport/bafana-coming-home/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bafana-coming-home http://www.citypress.co.za/sport/bafana-coming-home/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:17:01 +0000 http://www.citypress.co.za/?p=151158 Bafana Bafana have been knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations after going down 2-1 to Ghana.

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Bafana Bafana have been knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations after going down 2-1 to Ghana.

Needing a victory to stand a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages, Bafana collapsed in the second half as they allowed the Black Stars to bounce back from 1-0 down at the break.

André Ayew was Ghana’s hero after scoring the winner in the 83rd minute.

Ghana showed their class and experience, particularly in the second half when they were chasing the game and were rewarded at the end.

They were deserved winners as Bafana were not at their best.

The result meant Bafana lost two of their three games and finished at the bottom of the group with only a point to show for their efforts.

Ghana qualified for the knockout stages, together with Algeria, who beat Senegal 2-0 in the other game.

It was a nervy start for the South Africans as they allowed the Black Stars to bombard them early on.

Ghana forced two quick corners in the space of a minute and it caused all sorts of problems in the Bafana box.

A mix-up between goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo and Eric Mathoho nearly resulted in a goal but they were able to clear the mess.

Bafana then took a half time lead after going ahead in the 17th minute through a wonderful Mandla Masango volley.

But the question was whether they could hold on to their lead until the end of the game, after failing to do so in their previous two games.

Once more, Bafana were unsuccessful as Ghana substitute John Boye drew his side level in the 75th minute.

Bafana’s undoing was conceding too many unnecessary free kicks and the Black Stars were always dangerous on high balls.

However, after absorbing the early pressure, Bafana settled down and started playing their normal football.

Andile Jali was the main orchestrator in the middle of the park and his passes were spot on. The decision to start with Bongani Ndulula seemed to be the right one as the AmaZulu striker came to the party in areal battles.

Khuzwayo also had to be at his best when he denied Abdul Baba the equaliser in the first half.

Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba had made four changes to the team that started against Senegal on Friday and this was a touch of genius from the technical team as Masango found the back of the net.

But Ghana came back strongly in the second stanza as they searched for the equaliser and started pumping balls into the Bafana goal area.

Mathoho and company were in an uncompromising mood, but unfortunately they could do nothing when Boye found space in the box and turned to beat Khuzwayo.

Then Ayew’s header proved to be the killer blow for Bafana.

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‘Cop demands bribe, threatens girl (3) with gun’ http://www.citypress.co.za/news/metro-cop-demands-bribe-threatens-girl-3-gun/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=metro-cop-demands-bribe-threatens-girl-3-gun http://www.citypress.co.za/news/metro-cop-demands-bribe-threatens-girl-3-gun/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 18:16:20 +0000 http://www.citypress.co.za/?p=151156 The Tshwane metro police are investigating a report about an officer who allegedly threatened to shoot a three-year-old girl.

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The Tshwane metro police are investigating a report about an officer who allegedly threatened to shoot a three-year-old girl.

“As a department we are following up on the issue but we are not yet ready to comment any further,” said Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba today.

The department would issue a statement on the matter tomorrow.

The Star reported today that the officer unclipped his gun, raised his voice and told the child: “If you don’t keep quiet, I’ll shoot you.”

This was after she started crying when the officer asked her mother for a bribe, after the woman told him she did not have a driving licence.

“He approached me and asked for my licence. I was honest with him and I told him that I do not have one,” the woman told the newspaper.

“He then asked what plan we could hatch for cooldrink money.”

According to the report, when the woman said she did not have money, the officer took about R80 or R90 in change out of the ashtray in the car.

The woman then drove off and told her parents about the incident and together with her father, they returned to the scene.

When the officers noticed the woman’s car, they initially drove off.

However, the woman and her father followed the officers and they eventually got out of the car.

When asked about the incident, the officer admitted to threatening the child and said he did so to keep her quiet.

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Eskom pilots peak-pricing tariff system http://www.citypress.co.za/business/eskom-pilots-peak-pricing-tariff/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=eskom-pilots-peak-pricing-tariff http://www.citypress.co.za/business/eskom-pilots-peak-pricing-tariff/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:50:01 +0000 http://www.citypress.co.za/?p=151152 Early results from a pilot project, whereby customers are charged higher rates for power on selected peak demand days, are "very promising", says Eskom.

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Early results from a pilot project, whereby customers are charged higher rates for power on selected peak demand days, are “very promising”, says Eskom.

“The critical peak day pricing is a pricing option Eskom is currently piloting with customers who have opted into the pilot,” said Eskom’s media desk today.

The pilot project began in October 2013 and would run until October this year.

“How it works is customers are informed a day ahead of the critical peak day and they decide whether to reduce consumption or to pay the higher price.”

The pilot project limits the number of critical peak days to 17 days per year.

“The customers on the pilot are customers that have time-of-use metering, which means that it cannot be offered at this stage to residential customers.”

The initial results indicated that customers were, on average, reducing consumption by a quarter on the critical peak days.

“At this stage the tariff is only available to the pilot customers… and Eskom will, once the results of the pilot are completed, make a decision as to whether to make this a standard offer to customers.”

In recent weeks, Eskom has struggled to keep the lights on, with equipment failures, maintenance backlogs, and financial woes.

Eskom began with Stage 1 rotational power cuts this morning, but later escalated to Stage 2. This would continue until 10pm.

Stage 1 allows for up to 1000MW of the national load to be cut, Stage 2 for up to 2000MW, and Stage 3 for up to 4000MW.

On December 5, Eskom implemented Stage 3 load-shedding.

Eskom has repeatedly warned that the power system would remain “extremely constrained” for the rest of summer.

It has warned in previous years that winter is an energy-intensive time requiring power saving.

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