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Load Shedding is South Africa’s major challenge now

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Load Shedding

South Africa’s Deputy President Paul Mashatile said Tuesday that load shedding remains a “stubborn challenge” to the country’s economy.

Mashatile made the remarks when he delivered his annual address to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), or upper house of parliament, in Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa.

“Load shedding remains a stubborn challenge in our efforts to grow the economy,” said Mashatile. “Load shedding has adversely affected the economy, people’s overall quality of life and the safety and security of our citizens.”

“To this end, the ANC-led government continues implementing the Energy Action Plan to end load shedding and achieve energy security,” he said.

According to the deputy president, the plan includes five key pillars: fix Eskom and improve the availability of existing supply; enable and accelerate private investment in generation capacity; fast-track the procurement of new generation capacity from renewables, gas and battery storage; unleash businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar; and fundamentally transform the electricity sector to achieve long-term energy security.

His remarks came as Eskom, South Africa’s national utility, implemented stages 2 and 3 of rolling power blackouts on Tuesday.

Stage 2 load shedding allows up to 2,000 MW of capacity needs to be shed, while stage 3 calls for 3,000 MW to be rotationally cut off.

Also on Tuesday, Statistics South Africa announced a 0.2 percent drop in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) during the third quarter.

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