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Eskom latest: power cuts intensify, state of disaster planned

South Africa Considers State of Disaster for Energy Crisis (Jan. 30, 7:44 p.m.)

South Africa is considering declaring a national state of disaster as record power cuts cripple the economy.

The government is discussing whether the ongoing energy crisis fulfills the legal requirements for the measure previously used by the government to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in closing remarks at the governing African National Congress’s strategy meeting on Monday.

Power Crisis Triggers Water Cuts in South Africa’s Economic Hub (Jan. 30, 2:46 p.m.)

Parts of Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic hub, are being subjected to renewed water-supply cuts as ongoing electricity shortages disrupt pumping operations.

A power failure at Rand Water’s Eikenhof pump station, which supplies reservoirs in several high-lying areas of Johannesburg, resulted in critically low levels of supply, the municipality said on Twitter on Monday. While repairs have been completed, it warned that time is needed to replenish the storage system. Alternative sources of water have been arranged for hospitals.

State Weighs Measures to Help Households Install Solar  (Jan. 30, 8:11 a.m.)

South Africa’s government is considering measures to help households and small businesses install solar power and energy-saving devices, Ramaphosa said.

The actions will help offset the rising cost of electricity after the nation’s energy regulator agreed to allow Eskom to raise tariffs by 19% this year, Ramaphosa said in his weekly statement. Other measures being weighed include supporting households with rechargeable lights, he said.

“We should be able to provide further information on these and other initiatives in the coming weeks,” Ramaphosa said.

Government Discusses Emergency Power Measures (Jan. 27, 2:19 p.m.)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation in the coming week about steps the government will take to alleviate the nation’s energy crisis, a governing party official said.

State officials are discussing an emergency package of measures and the president may make an announcement before the cabinet begins a strategy meeting on February 1, African National Congress Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula told reporters Friday in Johannesburg.

“This is a crisis and we need emergency interventions,” Mbalula said of the rolling blackouts being implemented by Eskom that are resulting in electricity being cut for 10 hours or more a day. “An emergency package will be announced by government.”

© 2023 Bloomberg

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