Eskom implemented power cuts on Wednesday amid maintenance problems. The rand weakened as investors fretted about the effect on economic growth.
Eskom on Wednesday began a series of scheduled rolling blackouts, the first in seven months, as a shortage of supply meant there wasn’t enough electricity being produced to meet demand.
Eskom said on Wednesday that it will implement stage-2 load shedding from 9am on Wednesday, with outages likely to continue until 11pm.
South Africa has been promising for months to fix Eskom. While little tangible progress has been evident so far, several key decisions are due to be taken this month.
Eskom is approaching the courts in an effort to force energy regulator Nersa to reconsider electricity tariffs for the next three financial years.
President Cyril Ramaphosa poured cold water on proposals by his finance minister, Tito Mboweni, that state power utility Eskom sell some of its power plants to help settle its debt.
South Africa’s economy was roaring along in 2007 on the back of the global commodities boom when power shortages struck, bringing mines and smelters to a halt.
A panel of experts under the leadership of the CSIR has submitted a proposal to declare eMalahleni, Klerksdorp and Beaufort West as preferred locations for wind and solar photovoltaic power projects.
Liquid Telecom, Africa’s biggest fibre company, has turned to solar power in South Africa, where recurrent power outages shut businesses temporarily earlier this year.
Eskom’s standalone credit profile was downgraded one notch at Fitch Ratings, signalling the South African power utility’s worsening ability to repay debt without additional government support.