Load shedding worsens in SA

JOHANNESBURG. – Unable to switch on lights or heaters, cook dinner or charge their phones, South Africans are spending their mid-winter evenings plunged in darkness and low-tech living.

Power outages, known here as load shedding, intensified late last month after strikes erupted at the nation’s monopoly energy provider Eskom, leaving coal plants unable to operate or undergo maintenance.

But the frequency of power losses –two to three times per day and lasting up to four hours at a time – is the worst since a bleak episode in December 2019, and many people are livid.

“It’s like we’re back to apartheid life, whereby we’re back to candles, paraffin stoves,” said Rebecca Bheki-Mogotho, a Johannesburg city employee.

The wage dispute that compounded the crisis concluded Tuesday with Eskom employees accepting a seven per cent increase, which the electricity provider said in a statement “will be a struggle for Eskom to afford.”

But even with workers back on the job, Eskom warned it would “still take some time” for the system to recover due to the backlog of maintenance. – News24.com

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