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Electricity in South Africa

South African Power Crisis

Electricity is essential to modern living. We rely on it for everything from our communications, to our heating and more. Most of us also rely on something electrical-based at work, be it machinery or computers. And, of course, every single company now relies on at least some form of electrical equipment.

Power Cuts in South Africa

In many ways, this reliance is inevitable, and it’s only set to get worse. Even things like bank applications and library loans now primarily take part on a computer. In years to come, we can expect to see electricity-reliant options like remote work coming even more to the fore. We can also expect to see our businesses using more and more machinery and automated processes.

That’s why it’s petrifying to consider the Eskom crisis in South Africa at the moment. Eskom, one of the largest power suppliers in the world, provides upwards of 90% of Africa’s power. But, they’re currently so overstretched with that they’re at breaking point. This has led to a week of scheduled power cuts across South Africa with dire consequences. Even worse, the situation doesn’t look set to end anytime soon as Eskom grapple with removing a substantial 4,000 MW from their South African grid.

It’s like something out of the stone ages, and it’s making life difficult for people and businesses. It’s clear to see that something needs to change. But, before that can happen, it’s vital to ask a few key questions.

Why has this happened in South Africa?


It’s vital to consider why this has happened in the first place. How it possible that the most populated country in Africa has fallen so far short? Even worse, how is it being allowed to continue?

The buck for most of this fallout does, of course, begin and end with Eskom. Whichever way you look at this situation, the faults of this power company are behind the extremity of the issue. A closer look reveals that part of the struggle to supply enough electricity comes from the astounding $29 billion which Eskom has managed to accumulate. This is mostly down to issues of mismanagement and poor money control at the heart of the company. Even worse, a glance at their history shows that this isn’t the first time Eskom have turned to load shedding. The same thing also happened in 2008, 2015, and also late last year. Even so, these latest stage 4 power cuts are the worst outages South Africa has seen so far.

Of course, mismanagement isn’t the only issue which has played a part here. Eskom generates its power from limited coal-fired power stations. Two more stations were supposed to be completed by 2015 but, thanks to poor governance and rising costs, that hasn’t happened. This lack of supply paired with money issues is a sure road to the power cuts we’re now seeing across South Africa.

What impact is this having in South Africa?


With anything like this, it’s vital to consider what impact these cuts are having on the people who are subjected to them. In some cases, the fall out from outages across South Africa is common sense stuff. Everyone is struggling to get by at home and at work at the moment. Living costs are soaring as cooking at home becomes impossible. Worse, perhaps, is the impact these cuts are having on the economy on the whole. Businesses, especially, are struggling to operate with these reduced capabilities. Some business owners are struggling to attract customers, while others are experiencing real hits to productivity.

There are also growing fears of strike action at the moment thanks to talks about splitting Eskom into three separate companies. If unions take action, then power cuts across South Africa could be even more long-lasting than foreseen. That could lead to closures of local businesses, and disruption which the South African economy simply doesn’t need.

What is the solution?


That leads us nicely onto the last and, arguably, most important question. We know what’s going wrong, but that’s the solution? This is, after all, the thing which South Africa depends on right now. The government is, of course, working hard with a few different options here including, as mentioned, splitting Eskom into three companies. However, that stands to be problematic from a union and workers’ rights point of view and could lead to more issues than it solves. Other conversations include those about renewable energy sources to ensure that Eskom can cope with demand from now on.

In all of these instances, though, the government are pulling the strings. That’s a government which has failed to take care of things before they’ve reached breaking point. Unsurprisingly, then, many South African citizens are unwilling to sit back and leave control in the wrong hands. Hence why attention is shifting towards individual diesel generators.

With a diesel generator, South African homes and businesses would be able to provide at least some, if not all their electricity independently. This could free up all-important resources which see Eskom back on their feet and better able to provide enough energy to avoid further cuts.

If you’ve been impacted by the power cuts South Africa has been subjected to, then, browsing the generators available from Diesel Generator Direct is your only reliable plan of action. High voltage options like our Cummins range can more than handle general business demands whereas our range of home generators can supply households for good. All without any input from the government, or any risk of having your supply cut off again.

While this may not be an overall solution to the issues faced by Eskom, it can ensure that their debt never impacts you or your business again. Even better, the reduced pressure on the national power grid could see power across the board back in no time. All you need to do to make it happen is contact us on 01977 657 989. That way, you can literally give the power back to the people, while increasing the likelihood that Eskom can do the same down the line.