Going dark

How do you solve a problem like Eskom?

01 September 2022

In the end, ‘all’ it took to force any action on the Eskom crisis was more than a month of continuous loadshedding, peaking at Stage 6 for several days following illegal wildcat strikes at some of the utility’s power stations. By the end of July, there had been nearly 1 300 hours of loadshedding in South Africa in 2022. That equates to close on 60 days’ worth of constant rolling power cuts – or a quarter of the year-to-date.

The action plan announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the end of July is profound, but these reforms are easily a decade overdue. Had these reforms been in place even at the start of his administration in 2018, it’s unlikely Eskom would have been forced to implement loadshedding this year. However, it’s worth noting that Ramaphosa outlined a number of interventions in his State of the Nation address last year. There has been little to no movement on any of these.

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