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    South Africa returns to rolling blackouts due to severe power crisis


    August 3, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      Johannesburg, 3 Aug. The inhabitants of South Africa will again suffer from today, Wednesday, new scheduled power outages as a result of the serious crisis suffered by the country's electricity grid, almost entirely dependent on the indebted state company Eskom, after a respite of a dozen days.

      Eskom announced Wednesday the need to re-implement rolling blackouts across the country - a phenomenon known in South Africa as "loadshedding" - for at least two days, due to "lack of capacity" in the grid due to breakdowns and maintenance delays in its infrastructure, according to a statement.

      This is the first wave of massive outages announced after the severe blackouts that the country suffered during most of July, which, in addition to the poor state of the grid, were worsened by labor conflicts within Eskom.

      The complicated situation in July led the country's president, Cyril Ramaphosa (head of state since 2018), to renew his promises to solve the serious electricity crisis that the country has been suffering for a decade and which intensified considerably in recent years.

      To this end, on July 25 he announced a plan that will include the purchase of electricity from neighboring countries, the elimination of obstacles to private generation projects and the incentivization of energy production through solar panels in homes, among other instruments.

      Ramaphosa also promised again to "fix" Eskom (a company that has been around for more than a century and was one of the largest electricity companies in the world), which has liabilities of some 22 billion euros and on which most of South Africa's electricity grid depends.

      Corruption, poor planning in the face of rising energy demand, breakdowns due to the poor state of Eskom's aging infrastructure and the impact of crime (e.g. in the form of equipment and cable theft) are some of the factors behind the country's electricity crisis.

      The continuing electricity uncertainty is a terrible drag on Africa's most developed economy, as well as a major source of social unrest. EFE

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