South Africa experienced its worst power cuts in 2020 – Survey

A new survey published by the National science Council reveals that South Africa has experienced its worst power cuts on record in 2020

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has been trying to revive the economy but its major impediment has been electricity which Eskom, the state-run utility provider has been struggling to cope with. As such, investments in Africa’s most industrialised economy have been.

According to a detailed analysis from the South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – CSIR, it found that 1,498 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy had been shed so far in the first eight months of 2020. This is more than 1,352 GWh in the whole of  2019 and 1,325 GWh in 2015, the previous two worst years on record.

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The CSIR estimates that planned power cuts, known locally as load-shedding, cost the economy up to 120 billion rand or $7.2 billion all through last year.

Eskom had been generating over 90% of South Africa’s power but has struggled to meet demand for years because of faults at its coal-fired power stations and gross lack of adequate maintenance. While, two new ones have been hobbled by design flaws. Mismanagement of funds is also part of the problems associated with Eskom and a billing system that is dependent on bail outs from the government to augment operational cost

But an alternative plan from President Ramaphosa is to break up Eskom and to make it more efficient would earn it a series of mammoth bailouts to stabilise its finances, but its problems have persisted. At the moment.

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Eskom still implements planned power cuts, the latest occurred last week.

The CSIR forecast that the power cuts or load-shedding will continue for two to three years, depending on the actions the government takes to address the electricity shortfall.


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