South Africa’s post coronavirus recovery may be in jeopardy following persistent power blackout from the nation electricity generator Eskom. South Africa slid into a recession following prolonged lockdowns but businesses and industry are scrambling to get back on their feet with easing of restrictions.
This week Eskom announced escalation of load shedding that is likely to hurt the uptake in electricity demand. On Friday, Eskom announced stage-2 load shedding implemented on Saturday and Sunday between 08:00 and 22:00 in a move aimed at replenishing emergency reserves and better prepare for the coming week.
Eskom’s aging infrastructure that is prone to multiple breakdowns has seen the firm intensify load shedding to protect the national grid. The infrastructure is likely to be stretched beyond capacity as businesses resume operations and the cold season increased demand.
Eskom states that it has stepped up maintenance aimed to undo decades of infrastructure neglect and mismanagement. The program is expected to end load shedding in 18 months.
Energy analysts opine that South Africa’s power woes will end when government allows new generation with reliable low cost, wind, and solar installations from private stakeholders.
Breakdowns saw closure of Eskom’s Tutuka and Kendal power stations on Friday.