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Further power cuts by Eskom pose a threat to the economy which has already faltered at the start of 2019 with weak performances in the mining and manufacturing sectors. Economists warn that these sectors will be hit further by persistent load-shedding in the coming months. Both sectors are significant contributors to GDP — mining accounts for 9% while manufacturing contributes 14%. The embattled power utility announced stage two load-shedding on Thursday, which it attributed to a shortage of generating capacity. Eskom has not implemented load-shedding since February 15. “The risk is that if this persists, you’re going to struggle to get confidence, investment and demand up in this economy,” BNP Paribas economist Jeff Schultz said. “This further highlights the downside risks to growth. If we don’t see a level of improvement in the electricity supply or greater certainty with regards to policy, the economy will struggle to grow more than 1% for the next few years,” he said. Manufactur...

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