Thursday, March 30, 2023

South African economy weighed down by power cuts

In South Africa, everyone keeps their eyes glued to the application on their phone displaying the times of the next load shedding by district. “You find yourself having to organize your life according to these schedules, it’s really a headache”, explains Jabulani, out to run an errand in the cosmopolitan district of Melville. “Since the beginning of the year, it cuts every day, several hours. The 30-year-old, who makes a living from small operations on the foreign exchange market and taxi rides, points with his chin to the intersection at the bottom of the road: “In addition, you see, the traffic lights are often off, so that causes accidents. And to go somewhere, you always have to plan ahead, because of the traffic jams. »

The year 2022 had already seen a record number of outages. 2023 begins in the same vein, with level 6 of load shedding regularly reached, i.e. a deficit of 6,000 megawatts. Centenary this year, Eskom, which provides almost 90% of the country’s electricity, can no longer meet demand, plagued by years of corruption, mismanagement and sabotage. A crisis that is difficult to resolve in the short term: the government’s recent decision to bet on an energy transition plan will not be able to bear fruit for several years.


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