South Africans Face Loadshedding Till 11pm Tonight as Eskom Makes Power Cuts

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa will face loadshedding today as state power firm Eskom – which many South Africans refer to as Eish-kom – said it will cut up to 2,000 megawatts of power from the national grid on Wednesday due to a shortage of generating capacity.

loadshedding in south africa on wednesday
Mulugeta Desalegn, an owner of a convenience store, or “spaza shop”, picks an item for a customer as he holds a candle, in Senaone, Soweto, South Africa March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Eskom said on Twitter that the power cuts would start at 9 a.m. local time and last until 11 p.m., in comments that sent the rand weaker.

A debilitating round of power cuts in February and March dented first-quarter economic output and reminded investors of the uphill struggle President Cyril Ramaphosa faces to revive Africa’s most industrialised economy.

Eskom produces more than 90% of the power in South Africa but has been hobbled by technical faults at its fleet of coal-fired power stations as well as a financial crisis that has severely hurt its liquidity position.

The government plans to split Eskom into three units for generation, transmission and distribution to make it more efficient. It is also giving Eskom bailouts to keep it afloat.

(Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Louise Heavens)