Worsening power cuts have forced South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to cut short his current overseas visit to deal with troubles at home.
Ramaphosa made this decision after “an urgent virtual meeting with all the relevant ministers and officials,” his spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said on Sunday afternoon .
Ramaphosa is currently in London to attend ceremonies related to the lying in state of the late Queen Elizabeth and King Charles III’s reception for dignitaries in the evening.
Ramaphosa “wanted a briefing on what led to so many units tripping taking the country back to a situation that had been managed.”
“He further wanted to understand what could be done immediately to resolve the current state of load-shedding,” said Magwenya.
Ramaphosa’s short trip abroad has undergone a number of last-minute changes.
He travelled to the US on Thursday to have a working meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington DC after an invite from the latter last month, and was going to stay on to attend a number of meetings related to African development at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday.
On Tuesday he was scheduled to address the UN General Assembly.
But he was forced to change his plans to attend the Queen’s memorial in London on Sunday and Monday.
Late on Friday afternoon Magwenya said Ramaphosa has decided to travel back to New York for the day on Tuesday because of the importance of the gathering.
It is the first full in-person UN General Assembly since 2019 and although delegations are still not back in their numbers, it is set to be an important gathering.
Things were, however, still uncertain until the last minute and the South African mission in New York said the very popular reception it normally holds on the sidelines of the UNGA will not yet be returning this year.
Stage two power cuts announced by Eskom earlier this month rapidly escalated to stage six after Ramaphosa left the country on Thursday.