South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is not attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) that kicked off in Swiss resort of Davos on Monday due to the ongoing national energy crisis, his spokesperson Vincent Magwenya has announced.This is not the first time that Ramaphosa has interrupted his overseas visits to deal with the country’s worsening energy crisis, recalling that last year in September he cut short his trip to the United States and United Kingdom to address the electricity crisis back home, the spokesperson said late Sunday.
“Currently, the president is convening a meeting with leaders of political parties represented in parliament (National Energy Crisis Committee) and the Eskom board” to identify possible solutions to ease the energy crisis, Magwenya said.
Ramaphosa and his delegation were expected to add South Africa’s voice to discussions about global issues at the WEF, positioning the country as a competitive business destination of choice for investment, he said.
However, rising dissent after the country experienced crippling Stage 6 loadshedding 11 days into the New Year has apparently changed the president’s plans, observers said.
They noted that political parties have also added their voices to the criticism over Pretoria’s inability to get power utility Eskom’s aged power stations fully operational.