by James-Brent Styan
In 1998 the South African government was warned that the country was running out of electricity. Despite the warnings, the decision was taken not to invest in new power stations. Had the warnings been heeded, South Africa could have had a new power station up and running by 2006 and load shedding may never have happened. Instead, in 2007, as predicted, South Africa ran out of electricity.
Eight years later, the crisis has deepened and despite assurances to the contrary by government leadership, it has the potential to become the biggest post-apartheid crisis in South Africa. By 2015 load shedding cost the South African economy an estimated R2 billion per day. Is the situation getting better or worse? Are the interventions working or is a blackout inevitable? What can be done and what do future scenarios look like?
Blackout: The Eskom Crisis provides a look at what’s happening to one of the greatest power utilities in the world, the greatest on the African continent. It deals with everything from load shedding to blackouts and unpacks the issues raging around candlelight dinners in households across South Africa today.