#In other countries : South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has cut back on foreign travel as the country’s electricity crisis worsens, warned on Monday that “progress should not be counted on in the short term”.
After weeks of severe load shedding between June and July, in the middle of the southern winter, First African Industrial Power is weighed down by new severe cuts, leaving the national grid unable to produce enough power after years of mismanagement and corruption.
This means many cuts, for businesses and individuals, for hours, every day, for almost two weeks. This method of load shedding has been in practice for fifteen years.
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Ramaphosa, who traveled to the US and London, announced his early return last week to respond to the crisis.
“Load shedding has been very disappointing and difficult for the past two weeks. The public’s anger is justified,” he said, adding that the power shortage “puts the economy at risk”.
“Our aim is to immediately reduce the frequency and severity of load shedding by rectifying outages at power stations,” he continued.
Rising temperatures in early spring usually lead to lower consumption and reduce stress on aging and poorly maintained power plants.
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But the high number of outages led to a dramatic drop in production, which was affected by coal supply problems.
South Africa gets 80% of its electricity from coal, which produces heavy pollution condemned by environmentalists.
Calling on South Africans to “use electricity sparingly”, the president assured that measures to create new generation capacity are progressing “even if the effects are not immediately felt”.
Cyril Ramaphosa announced the opening of the sector to the private sector in July. The country, which received 7.7 billion euros for its energy transition at COP26, signed its first contracts for wind energy production last week.