Eskom poses a risk to SA’s growth outlook, according to Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim. Standard Bank estimates growth of 1.3% for 2019, which takes into account the recent electricity shortfall with an assumption that energy available would be below 70%. “If we have very deep piercing and persistent electricity shortfalls, then our forecast of 1.3% faces material downside risks,” Ballim said at a media briefing on Wednesday. “For every 5% shortfall in electricity supply, we estimate a negative impact on GDP of between 0.3 and 0.5 of a percentage point.” Neglected maintenance of power plants has led to serial breakdowns. Load-shedding, which is implemented to stabilise the grid when demand exceeds supply, began on Sunday and is expected to last for at least the rest of the week. Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said the government has asked Italian utility Enel to provide three senior coal-power engineers to help Eskom understand the reason behind the serial b...

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