South Africa is dealing with a serious problem of frequent power outages, and it’s getting worse. A recent report suggests that by mid-October, the total time without electricity in 2023 could be double what it was in 2022.
According to the Power Blackout Statistics report by energy analyst Pieter Jordaan, South Africans have already experienced 61.5 full days without power this year.
That’s equivalent to a consistent 1,476 hours of darkness. In comparison, in all of 2022, there were 34.6 days of blackouts, which is about 830 hours.
If this trend continues, South Africa could face a total of 86.1 full days without electricity in 2023, which is roughly a quarter of the entire year spent in darkness.
While there has been a slight improvement in recent days, with fewer power cuts, the overall situation is not promising.
Load shedding, as it’s called, is when electricity supply is intentionally reduced to prevent a total collapse of the power system.
Eskom, the state-owned electricity provider, has been implementing load shedding due to various issues, including a lack of maintenance and infrastructure problems.
Recently, there was a 7-day period with fewer blackouts, but this follows a troubling 91-day trend of increasing load shedding. The annual trend, which looks at the past year, also shows a rise in load shedding.
This means that South Africans have been experiencing more power cuts, especially since permanent load shedding began in September 2022.
Eskom has been trying to manage the situation by providing daily updates on load shedding schedules. This week, they suspended load shedding during the day due to reduced demand and fewer breakdowns, but it’s expected to resume at night.
People in major cities can check load shedding schedules online, and there are apps available for smartphones to receive notifications about power cuts in their areas.
We can understand what the people of South Africa are going through. They are facing major disruptions in their daily lives due to the electricity problems.
Facing blackouts for 30 to 60 days can make their lives so challenging. You can’t have lights in your home or workplace. You can’t run or operate any electrical equipment.
All the education systems, businesses, and factories will be inoperable. No battery or inverter can save you from these consistent power cuts.
All the temporary relief Africans are receiving is just that they are getting informed about load-shedding schedules.
Extended periods of power outages are becoming the norm in African regions, and this isn’t good at all. The African government will have to find a long-term solution to the country’s power issues.