South Africa: state of national disaster declared for load shedding of nearly 205 days of continuous outages due to serious energy crisis


Several countries on the African continent are going through a difficult period, with the serious energy crisis which is having disastrous consequences on their economies, including in particular South Africa, the most industrialized economy on the continent, which has been experiencing a serious energy crisis since 2022.

Eskom, the national electricity company, can no longer meet demand. It therefore rations energy, which often leads to power cuts of almost 12 hours. In 2022, 205 days of continuous outages were recorded in the country. Faced with the crisis and popular discontent, South African head of state Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of national disaster in February 2023 and appointed a minister to manage the situation.

Two months later, after observing an improvement, the state of disaster was lifted, but the problems persist. According to South African authorities, the electricity crisis costs the economy some $50 million in lost production every day and the country’s economic potential has been reduced by 20%. The country’s thermal power stations are considered old and constantly broken down and the producing company is also involved in corruption scandals dating from the presidency of Jacob Zuma.

On the occasion of Labor Day celebrations, South African Electricity Minister Paul Mashatile announced that the country would soon no longer experience power outages. According to the minister, the public company Eskom achieved an energy availability factor of 65.5%, which would mean that the country has exceeded what the minister called peak blackouts.

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