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South Africa has Endured its Worst Power Cuts on Record this Year

Analysis by South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) found that 1,498 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy had been shed so far in the first eight months of 2020, more than 1,352 GWh in the whole of last year and 1,325 GWh in 2015, the previous two worst years on record. The power cuts by ailing state utility Eskom are one of the biggest challenges facing President Cyril Ramaphosa as he tries to revive investor confidence in Africa’s most industrialised economy. The CSIR estimates planned power cuts, known locally as load-shedding, cost the economy up to $7.2 billion last year. Eskom generates more than 90% of South Africa’s power but has struggled to meet demand for years because of faults at its coal-fired power stations. Some of these stations have not been properly maintained and two new ones have been hobbled by design flaws.