South Africa is facing an unprecedented number of consecutive rolling blackouts, with 100 straight days and counting, as the electricity crisis worsens. Eskom’s daily power cuts, imposed since October 31st, are aimed at protecting the national grid from collapsing due to its outdated and poorly maintained, mostly coal-fired power plants that failed to meet demand on 200 days in 2022.
The country has been struggling with electricity outages for about 15 years and the situation is likely to persist for at least two more years as Eskom modernizes its energy-generating facilities. Its goal is to increase the energy availability factor, a measure of usable capacity, to 70% by March 2025 from its current level of about 50%. This requires the addition of 4,000 to 6,000 megawatts of generating capacity.
The South African Reserve Bank has lowered its economic growth forecast for this year to 0.3% from 1.1% previously, with Governor Lesetja Kganyago stating that the power disruptions will result in a 2 percentage point reduction in output growth in 2023. According to a Bloomberg survey of economists, there is a 45% chance of the nation entering a recession this year.
First reported by News24: https://www.news24.com/fin24/economy/loading-100-days-of-load-shedding-20230206