🇿🇦 Why are there blackouts across South Africa? | The Stream

A prolonged energy crisis in South Africa has left citizens facing daily power cuts as the country’s state owned energy company Eskom takes drastic measures to conserve power. Having failed to modernise its aging coal infrastructure or keep pace with the nation’s energy demands, 2022 was a year of record blackouts in the country, with more than 200 days of power cuts.

Businesses have shuttered, some hospitals find themselves running on diesel generators and households are struggling to plan simple daily tasks like cooking or charging a cellphone.

It’s been estimated that the country’s GDP has been diminished by 1-1.3 percent each year since 2007 as a result of the crisis, with daily losses ranging from $87-232 million per day. Losses that further exacerbate fears of a recession during an already difficult cost of living crisis.

A recent rate-hike on top of rolling blackouts saw hundreds of people decide to protest in Johannesburg earlier this year. The government is currently considering a state of disaster in order to free-up resources to address the crisis, while environmental campaigners highlight the need for a long term transition to renewable energy.

In this episode of The Stream, we discuss how people are affected by the daily uncertainty of load shedding and what’s needed to end the energy crisis in South Africa.

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