3RD DECEMBER 2018
BY: REUTERS <www.engineeringnews.co.za/author.php?u_id=99>
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South Africa <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/south-africa> faces more power <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/power> cuts, electricity utility <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/electricity-utility> Eskom <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/eskom> warned on Monday as it sought to prevent the collapse of its power <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/power> grid in a test for President *Cyril Ramaphosa <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/cyril-ramaphosa>*’s reforms.
Eskom <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/eskom> implemented a fifth day of controlled power <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/power> cuts on Monday, putting more strain on an economy already mired in recession only months before a national election. ADVERTISEMENT <www.engineeringnews.co.za/adcentre/rv/en/www/delivery/ck.php?oaparams=2__bannerid=2810__zoneid=420__OXLCA=1__cb=d7ed6fbe61__oadest=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jch.co.za%2F>
“The entire week could be severely constrained if we are unable to replenish the diesel <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/diesel-company> and water <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/water> reserves, and reduce the high unplanned outages,” Eskom <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/eskom> spokesperson *Khulu Phasiwe <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/khulu-phasiwe>* said.
Eskom <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/eskom>, which is battling a severe financial <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/financial> crisis, coal <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/coal>shortages and breakdowns of its power <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/power> plants, said it would cut up to 2 000 megawatts of power <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/power> from the grid on Monday. ADVERTISEMENT <www.engineeringnews.co.za/adcentre/rv/en/www/delivery/ck.php?oaparams=2__bannerid=2350__zoneid=647__OXLCA=1__cb=bb77862c4d__oadest=https%3A%2F%2Fpips.seifsa.co.za>
The utility, which last week called for a bailout or debt relief, began the controlled cuts, known as load-shedding, on Thursday as demand for power <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/power> outstripped available capacity.
“Eskom <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/eskom> teams are working hard to salvage the situation but the process is going to be hard, long and costly,” Phasiwe said.
Ramaphosa has made reforming Eskom <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/eskom> a priority, but he has been hampered by fiscal constraints in a blow to his plan to woo investors who can help grow the economy ahead of an election likely to be held in May next year.
“Eskom <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/eskom> as an institution and its ability to provide stable power <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/power> supply is the single biggest risk to Cyril Ramaphosa <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/cyril-ramaphosa>’s investment drive and the South Africa <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/south-africa> fiscus,” *Isaah Mhlanga <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/isaah-mhlanga>*, executive chief economist at Alexander Forbes Investments said on Twitter.
BNP Paribas South Africa <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/south-africa> senior economist *Jeff Schultz <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/jeff-schultz>*said prolonged power <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/power> cuts would likely hurt economic growth in the first quarter of 2019, although a slowdown in manufacturing <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/manufacturing> over the Christmas <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/christmas> period will buy Eskom <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/eskom>some time.
“But come mid-January, if we are still facing load-shedding, that is when it is going to be a much more pressing issue for the economy,” Schultz said.
South Africa <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/south-africa> entered recession in the second quarter for the first time since 2009. Third-quarter gross domestic product <www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/product>numbers are due out on Tuesday, with analysts polled by Reuters predicting quarter-on-quarter GDP growth of 1.6 percent.