Eskom: Lights on for State of the Nation address

Cape Town - Parliament has sought and obtained a guarantee from Eskom that, barring emergencies, the lights will remain on during President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation address next week.

"We have been in discussion with Eskom to make appropriate arrangements to ensure that our proceedings can go through without interruption," Parliament's secretary Gengezi Mgidlana said on Wednesday.

Briefing the media on preparations eight days before Parliament re-opens, he said this arrangement would allow South Africans to view or listen to the proceedings and Zuma's address on February 12.

Responding to a question on what specific guarantees Parliament had received from Eskom, Mgidlana said this was not a "total guarantee" and did not include a crisis or emergency at the utility.

"We are in South Africa, and I suppose we are not immune to whatever is happening, so a crisis at Eskom would be one we are all subject to."

Eskom had given an indication that "the issues around broadcasting and all of that they'll be able to look into so that people are able to get access to the speech as and when it is made".

He then repeated: "We have got assurances from Eskom that there will not be a power shortage and cut in order to make sure the events take place".

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