Johannesburg (AP) — South Africans are in the dark to deal with the increase in power outages that have hit homes and businesses across the country. I'm having a hard time inside.
Rolling power outages have been experienced for years, but this week the state-owned power company Eskom extended the power outage, with some residents and businesses powering out for more than nine hours a day. ..
According to experts, Eskom worker strikes have added to utility problems such as aging coal-fired power plant failures, inadequate power generation capacity, and corruption.
During the winter in the Southern Hemisphere, where many homes rely on electricity for heat, light and cooking, long-term power outages have hit South Africans.
SMEs had to close for a long time or spend a lot of money on diesel fuel to operate their generators. Anger and frustration are widespread between business owners and customers with power outages, which Eskom calls load limiting.
Power outages stay here, according to experts who warn that it will take years to significantly improve South Africa's power generation capacity. South Africa mines coal and relies heavily on coal-fired power plants, causing significant air pollution. The country aims to increase the amount of electricity generated from solar and other renewable energy sources.
"The big picture is that we expected (a major blackout) at least this winter," said energy expert Hilton Trolip. "Eskom told us that there was a chronic power outage at the end of last year ... that means there is still a risk of load down at any stage until a significant amount of additional power is generated on the grid. .. The question is how bad the load limit will be. "
He lamented the impact of power outages on the economy.
"The most direct economic impact is when a company has to stop production because it doesn't have electricity ... whether it has a factory, a travel agency, or a store. "Trolip said. “Whenever economic activity is disrupted due to lack of electricity, it is a direct cost to the economy.”
Power outages in South Africa a day or 4,000 Economists say they are blocking investment at a cost of well over $ 10,000. Africa's most developed South African economy is already in recession and suffers from a 35% unemployment rate.
SMEs in national towns, suburbs and rural areas have been hit hardest by rolling blackouts, Trolip said.
Buhle Ndlovu, a nursery teacher in Soweto, Johannesburg's largest town, said the power outage increased school operating costs.
"We are dealing with about 40 children here. We need to feed them a healthy diet every day," Ndlovu said. "The rates we charge can't afford the extra cost of buying gas to cook. Road shedding was really difficult for us."
She said it was difficult to take care of the children in the candlelight from the time the parents were dark until they picked them up.
However, some shops are gaining new business from power outages, such as Uri's power centers, where sales of generators, batteries and other backup systems are strong.
She said, "I think people should definitely look less dependent on Escom. I don't think the electricity situation will be resolved soon." "We are all aware of Escom's problems, and people have a variety of options, whether they invest in a generator to run a business or go home."
Andre de Reuters, CEO of Escom, said at a press conference on Friday that the crisis has received serious attention and personally tells President Cyril Ramaposa what the company is doing to keep the light on. He said he explained it.