South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has cancelled an engagement this week scheduled in New York to address the United Nations General Assembly over a national power crisis following the funeral in honour of late Queen Elizabeth II.
Ramaphosa who is currently in Britain would instead travel back to South Africa immediately after the funeral.
The president’s spokesman, Vincent Magwenya declared this while on air in eNCA – a privately-owned Television Channel.
“He has decided to cancel that,” Magwenya said.
Ramaphosa wanted to better understand what led to a large number of recent breakdowns at Eskom’s generation fleet and what progress has been made on the interventions he announced in July, Magwenya added.
This is not the first time he has cut short a foreign trip over the power crisis. In 2019, Ramaphosa ended a visit to Egypt early so he could return home to deal with the same issue.
State-owned power utility Eskom moved to “Stage 6” electricity outages on Sunday for only the third time ever, meaning most South Africans are without power for at least six hours a day.
Recall that Eskom has implemented outages for over a decade that have choked economic growth in Africa’s most industrialized nation. Amid growing public anger, Ramaphosa pledged new steps to address the crisis in July, but power cuts have persisted.
He said South Africa’s statement at the UN General Assembly will instead be delivered by International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Naledi Pandor.