Blackout at EC development plan launch
Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane had to launch the provincial development plan in the dark after the Osner Hotel experienced load-shedding on Thursday night.
Strangely, the backup generators at the four star establishment did not kick in until Mabuyane finished delivering his vision for the province at 8.35pm. The power went out at 8.03pm.
Some of the attendees, which included business leaders, MECs, mayors and traditional leaders, had to also eat in the dark before the power was back up again around 8.45pm.
Delivering the vision 2030 plan for the province, Mabuyane bemoaned poor planning, saying they had known for years that Eskom would not be able to keep the lights on because of the demand for electricity far outweighing the supply.
Mabuyane joked that he had recently addressed small businesses in the dark because of load-shedding at the Abbotsford Christian Centre, also in East London.
“They said I must continue talking because they had seen me while walking in and were more interested in what I had to say,” he said to laughter.
While Mabuyane saw the funny side of the generator failing to kick in for more than 30 minutes, Nomkhita Mona, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber chief executive, who was also the programme director, said “government should be reimbursed” by the hotel.
Afterwards, Mabuyane downplayed the incident when asked if they got value for money as the generators did not immediately kick in.
“We’ve had conferences here before and we’ve never had this experience so we don’t want to really use an isolated incident and make it as a common theme.”
Several attempts were made to source comment from the hotel on Thursday night and Friday morning.