SA passes 200 days of power cuts for 2022 — more to come
Outgoing Eskom CEO De Ruyter warns of continued blackouts until additional capacity is added to the grid
SA passed 200 days of power cuts in 2022 on Tuesday, with more to come.
Eskom ramped up load-shedding from stage 1 to stage 3 from 4pm until 5am for the rest of the week.
The power utility has implemented record rotational blackouts this year, because its old and poorly maintained power stations continually break down.
The energy shortages have dented investment and weighed on output.
“The fluctuations in the supply of electricity have profound implications for the economy and could be viewed as the biggest risk to growth and, through that, the future of SA,” said Sygnia executive chair Magda Wierzycka.
The South African Reserve Bank said last month that power outages mean the economy is only likely to expand by 0.1% in the final quarter. It predicts economic growth will slow to 1.1% in 2023 from 1.8% this year, and assumes increased power rationing will shave 0.6 percentage points (pps) off output.
The resignation of Andre de Ruyter as CEO of Eskom gives SA the opportunity to bring in a skilled and experienced CEO who has the requisite political support, Wierzycka said.
“It will not be easy to find someone suitable, but the government cannot afford to get it wrong one more time.”
Eskom supplies most of the nation’s electricity and doesn’t generate enough revenue to cover its operating costs and interest bill, leaving it dependent on state bailouts to survive.
Its outgoing CEO warned on Friday that the power supply outlook for next year will be very constrained and blackouts will continue until an additional 4,000MW to 6,000MW of generating capacity is added to the grid.
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