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Why do we have load-shedding in South Africa?

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Load-shedding has been a norm in South Africa since it was formally introduced in 2008; however, the rolling power cuts have been prevalent in the country since a year earlier.

In 2007, Eskom began rolling out frequent power cuts, which prompted articles questioning the issue which the parastatal attributed to infrastructural issues. The explanation was novel and understandable at the time, however, almost 15 years later, that is still the case.

The state subsequently initiated the Medupi Power Station back in 2007. The project was initially estimated at R32 billion, according to reports, but like many state-run projects and organisations, it was tainted by allegations of corruption. While the state was preparing to build the Medupi Power Station, the state announced the beginning of scheduled power cuts in April 2008, which were meant to relieve the pressure on the power utility until the new power station was completed.

At the time of the announcement, only four load-shedding stages were presented, which remained in place until 2019. Towards the tail end of 2019, Eskom then introduced four more stages, taking the scheduled power cut levels to eight.

Sabelo Makhubo
[email protected]

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