South Africans could be suffering escalating power outages shortly, following the collapse of a coal silo at the Majuba power station in the east of the country at the beginning of the month.
Eskom has said that the blackouts which started as a result, were likely to continue. The news came as the government announced that Eskom needs $6.5bn to avoid a power crisis.
The power cuts are being blamed on poor maintenance practices stretching back many years. It is the second time this year that Eskom has imposed rolling blackouts and analysts say that these power outages could severely affect the economy. The country’s mining sector, in particular, is very vulnerable to any reduction in electricity available.
Last month, the national Treasury announced it would inject R20bn into Eskom, but some analysts say that is nowhere near enough to reverse years of underinvestment and lack of maintenance of the power infrastructure.