Rolling blackouts policy sparks anger across Egypt

Power cuts continued across Egypt despite promises by officials from the electricity and energy ministries that the crisis will gradually ease.

Activists on Facebook called on the ministries to announce plans for load shedding beforehand so that the people can store the amount of water they need and protect their machines from damage.

An official source told Al-Masry Al-Youm work is ongoing to provide for the needs of citizens and called on people to ration their electricity consumption.

Electricity companies did not resort to load shedding on Friday and Saturday, the source said, adding that electricity is not exported at peak hours of consumption.

The source also said work is ongoing to generate an additional 1,800 megawatts of energy.

Meanwhile, residents of several villages in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Qena threatened not to pay their electricity bills and to sue their provider due to the frequent power outages.

Young people from several villages organised a campaign titled “We will not Pay” to call on residents not to pay their bills as long as the service is not stable and causes citizens' machines to break down, water to be cut off and food to go bad.

In Sharqiya, hundreds of angry residents from Bardeen village in Zaqaziq blocked the Belbeis-Zaqaziq Road to object the unstable supply of electricity.

Minister of Petroleum Abdallah Ghorab told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Friday that over-consumption and illegal electricity hookups are a burden on the state.

He added that for the first time additional demand for electricity has exceeded the 3,000 megawatt barrier, ratcheting up to 27-28,000 megawatts per day.

Ghorab called on citizens to conserve electricity to avoid forcing the state to implement its policy of load shedding.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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