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Unakho Kewana, who relied on an oxygen machine, died because of load shedding

Unakho Kewana, who was 18 years old and from East London, was in a precarious position when the rolling blackouts began, and unfortunately, she has since passed away as a result of the ordeal.

After sustaining lung damage three years prior, Kewana was dependent on supplemental oxygen due to her condition.
She relied on a cylinder of oxygen to help her breathe while she was in the hospital.

Sadly, she has passed away due to the continuous lack of access to energy caused by Eskom.

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“I am having trouble keeping my oxygen cylinder full because of load shedding.” During that time, she stated.

The extended and severe periods of load shedding presented Kewana with a significant obstacle to overcome.

She went on to Explain:

In 2019, I was diagnosed with a severe cough, and when I went to the hospital to get checked out, the doctor told me that my lungs had ruptured, and that in order to breathe, I would need to be hooked up to an oxygen tank to support my breathing.

Because my oxygen cylinder does not give out enough oxygen for me, load shedding has become a significant source of discomfort for me. This makes it difficult for me to breathe.

Users on social media did not react lightly to the news that Unakho Kewana had passed away.

Unfortunately, she was unable to escape the clutches of death this time.

— Sun-El Malamlel (@SaneleMalamlela) November 11, 2022

Sincere speaking, it won’t make any difference how many times we criticize the ANC and Eskom on social media platforms: nothing will change. If we want our voices to be heard, we need to take it out into the streets, make them answer for their actions, and do better in the upcoming elections. We are living in a dream world if we assume that social media has that much of an impact!!

You know what, we need to stop criticizing older people who are voting for the ANC when we have young people who are laid back, getting drunk every week, and acting nonchalantly when we should be deciding what is best for us and the future!!! We cannot allow elderly folks to make decisions about our future for us!!

Sino @ ilovesino 14h

Replying to @SaneleMalamlela

This ought to be a topic of conversation till it reaches the Oval Office, babone imisebenzi yabo. I’m really mad rn 😭😭😭

Masomalenhle Ntshangase🇸🇿🇿🇦 @Masiphula12 15h Replying to @SaneleMalamlela

That is the result of the poor decisions that we made in voting for the ANC; they do not care about us. Sengathi angaphumula umphumulo wafuthi🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊

Replying to @SaneleMalamlela on Twitter from @Swart47321327 13 hours

This is a particularly heartbreaking tale. The black community is failing itself and one another. We had the opportunity to give her a monetary donation and purchase her a generator, just like other races do, but instead we chose to post videos of ourselves playing wealthy. Because we can’t rely on the government for assistance, let’s turn to Ubuntu.

While everything is going on, Joburg is getting ready to break free of Eskom and load shedding.

This month, the City of Johannesburg will reportedly submit the first Requests For Proposals (RFPs) for short-term energy supply from the commercial sector, as reported by Bussinesstech.

During a meeting with local business leaders on Thursday (10 November), the city said that it is taking steps to protect local businesses and citizens from the ongoing rolling blackouts that are occurring across the country, which are having a significant negative impact on the economy.

“We came to the conclusion that if we wanted to shield companies from this, we needed to acquire up to 500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy over a period of time ranging from 18 to 36 months. It was stated that “we are ready to start seeing the back of rolling blackouts” in order to ensure that the economy of Johannesburg continues to function without interruption.

It was stated that RFPs would be published beginning in the middle of November.

According to the city, its contribution to the economy of the country is close to 16%, while its contribution to the economy of the province of Gauteng is 40%.

It is a known fact that if Johannesburg’s economy were to collapse, enormous shockwaves would be sent across the rest of the country and the continent. It is not possible for us to go for extended periods of time without access to energy. As a government, our efforts are focused on ensuring that yours are successful.

According to what was found, additional measures are already in place to support businesses in different ways, one of which being revitalizing the inner city.

“Despite the developments in technology that have made it possible for people to work from anywhere in the world, an economic hub cannot function to its full potential without a functional inner city in which businesses can thrive and citizens may work, play, and worship.”

“Load-shedding will go on until the year 2027.”

The power company Eskom has predicted that load-shedding will continue until the year 2027, which indicates that the problems the company is experiencing will not be remedied anytime soon.

Over the course of the past 11 months, South Africa has been subjected to daily electrical supply restrictions. During the past 11 months, Eskom has been dealing with chronic power supply restrictions, and the company has planned a record number of days, as well as consecutive days, of power outages for 2022-23.

In addition, Eskom has not been successful in preventing acts of sabotage at a number of its power stations.

A assessment on the medium-term adequacy of Eskom’s finances that was published on the 30th of October provides a concerning picture of the challenges that the company is facing internally.

The purpose of the report is “to examine over a five-year period the power supply shortfall risks that may occur based on predicted trends in demand and generation capacity in South Africa.” This evaluation will take place over the course of five years.

According to the article, the utility company has a difficult time carrying out planned repairs at power facilities due to internal issues as well as sabotage.

“The scenario will become much more dire if the plant performance of Eskom’s fleet continues[s] to trend worse while at the same time demand increases,”

According to the analysis, there is a poor prognosis for the years 2023 to 2027 due to the fact that the utility’s fleet does not exhibit any indicators of new or improved generation capacity. In addition, the report states that the system will be unable to satisfy the demand completely.

Internal Eskom security as well as sources from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), who are investigating the sabotage cases at Eskom, claim that management at the Kusile and Tutuka power stations are shielding the offenders responsible for the alleged sabotage, despite the fact that management is suspected of being complicit in the sabotage.

The investigative sources claim that according to the patterns they were gathering, the individuals accused of sabotage received access to parts of power plants from management in order to break down plant equipment in order to later obtain a share of the repair work profits along with senior management.

“It should come as no surprise that management is involved in these matters. Regardless of the severity of the crimes committed by some employees, they continue to receive protection. This is something that we have brought up with the Hawks and Eskom; we believe that there has been some kind of foul play going on with the management at Tutuka and the contractors who have been found with equipment but have been shielded. According to one of our sources, we are also conducting an investigation into the management there.

In order to investigate a number of high-profile occurrences that occurred with staff over the course of the past few years, Eskom enlisted the assistance of the Special Investigating Unit as well as the Hawks.

Four personnel at two different power facilities in Mpumalanga were taken into custody one month ago following investigations into two separate thefts that were conducted by the Hawks and Eskom group security.

On October 17, a worker at the Tutuka power station was detained after being suspected of stealing 10 drums of hydraulic oil from the storage facility.

The worth of the stolen drums of hydraulic oil is more than R800 thousand. Eskom stated that the worker had appeared in the Standerton magistrate’s court and been held in custody pending a bail application.

In a separate incident, three individuals working as cleaning contractors at the Matla power station were detained for their involvement in the theft of copper cables. A garbage storage container used as a cover for the cables to conceal them.

The Eskom internal security team and the Hawks are conducting an investigation into a number of alleged crimes, including the theft of coal, diesel, and cables; threats of bombings; fraud and corruption; and sabotage, amongst other alleged offenses.

A source within the investigating team for the Hawks added that they had found evidence that diesel worth R200,000 was stolen from the Kriel power station in Mpumalanga. This is the same power station where a truck driver was recently arrested for conspiring with a clerk to steal fuel and where management was allegedly complicit in the theft as well.

After weighing the diesel load during the night shift, the receiving officer gave the transporter permission to leave, and the fuel will be loaded into a separate vehicle. Now this will be recorded as having left the station, and Eskom will be charged for the load, but it will not make it to its destination. After some time has passed, it is time for maintenance, but the fuel is nowhere to be found. Now Eskom needs to pay again, which has been okayed by management, and there will be no restructuring of the company. The source with the Hawks stated that they are now investigating those situations.

According to a spokeswoman for Eskom, Sikonathi Mantshantsha, the utility is continuing its investigation into thefts that have occurred within the utility and “will guarantee that those who are caught suffer the punishment warranted.”

Theft and other acts of sabotage have hampered Eskom’s ability to carry out maintenance, which has resulted in unscheduled power outages across the nation.

The newly constituted board of Eskom urged the department of public enterprises, which is overseen by Minister Pravin Gordhan, to acknowledge that load-shedding will continue for the next 18 months one month ago.

The report suggests that a low-demand forecast will see an annual decrease in electricity demand of 0.3%, whereas the moderate-high scenario predicts a 1% average annual growth rate linked to a GDP growth rate of 1.9%. Both of these scenarios are linked to the demand for electricity.

According to the report, Eskom’s outages have a tendency to increase, which suggests that its reliability maintenance program, which aims to do deep refurbishment and maintenance to improve the performance of, in particular, the coal fleet, “may not be yielding desired outcomes” in its current form. The reliability maintenance program aims to do deep refurbishment and maintenance to improve the performance of, in particular, the coal fleet.

According to the research, “These demand predictions are contrasted with plant performance assumptions. They also take into consideration the fact that Eskom’s generating fleet is scheduled to shrink by 5,288MW between the years 2023 and 2027 because units would approach their turbine dead-stop dates.”

According to the findings of the analysis, Eskom’s energy availability factor will fall somewhere in the region of 58% to 67% by the end of 2027. It is a confirmation that power outages will get worse. The supply gap is projected to grow from 18 terawatt hours (TWh) in the year 2023 to 30 TWh in the year 2027 under the most pessimistic scenario. According to Eskom, the generation output of Matla power station when it is operating at full capacity is comparable to an energy gap of 18TWh. The station is capable of producing 3,500MW at its full capacity.

According to Eskom, increased generation will assist in reducing the supply deficit “to around 8TWh in 2027.” On the other hand, “the expected pace of implementation of additional generation capacity of approximately 10GW (of which a large proportion will be from renewables) will not be sufficient to adequately rectify the supply constraints.”

The utility acknowledged that the existing repair schedule needs to be evaluated in order to make it more effective.

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