S.Africa ends 'state of disaster' over blackouts

AFP , Wednesday 5 Apr 2023

The South African government on Wednesday lifted a National State of Disaster, a legal move introduced in February to fast-track efforts to tackle a crippling electricity shortage.

President Cyril Ramaphosa s
File Photo: President Cyril Ramaphosa s. AFP


Power cuts have eased in recent weeks but continue to affect all of South Africa on a daily basis.

"Government has terminated, with immediate effect, the National State of Disaster," the government said in a statement.

South Africa has been battered by record blackouts over the past year, triggered by mounting problems at the beleaguered power utility Eskom.

The outages cost more than $50 million in lost production each day, according to Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe.

The state of disaster was declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his annual state-of-the-nation address.

It unlocked additional resources and allowed the government to leapfrog some bureaucratic hurdles to implement energy projects.

On Wednesday the government said the declaration had enabled it to "enhance interventions" towards boosting energy supplies.

The appointment of an electricity minister, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, which was also announced in February, has also proved a "significant enabler of the improvement in the supply of electricity," it added.

"The Minister has in recent weeks undertaken oversight visits to power stations... to identify and resolve electricity supply constraints."

Known locally known as load-shedding, power cuts are expected to continue for at least another year, according to Eskom's estimates.

Short link: