SA's credit ratings outlook hangs in the balance, and growth estimates may now also be revised down following the return of rolling power blackouts this week that are expected to continue until April. The move to stage-four load-shedding, which was due to the loss of six additional units, has economists fretting about the consequences for industrial output, which accounts for just under 25% of SA's GDP. SA's foundry industry had lost 90% capacity over the past decade, and there is a massive reduction in aluminium smelting, beneficiation and chrome smelting, which have shifted to Malaysia and China. This is despite SA having 90% of the world's chrome ore. SA's smelting has dropped to less than 60% of global beneficiation, said Shaun Nel, spokesperson for the Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa. Big industries have been experiencing power cuts for the past few months and now fear a substantial rise in electricity tariffs. Nel said industrial companies had been subject to 2...

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