350,000 jobs to be lost due to Load Shedding: PwC

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  • The reintroduction of load shedding is a critical part of the economic outlook for the fourth quarter of 2021.
  • Load-shedding returned to South Africa in the second week of October after an absence of 11 weeks.
  • This would result in a 3% decline in the country’s GDP growth in 2021, and 350,000 lost employment, according to the report.
  • Eskom released its load shedding projection for the next 18 months last week, indicating that rolling blackouts will be common in South Africa for the foreseeable future.

Even if the return of load shedding was foreseen, it will have a substantial impact on the country’s economy and result in further job losses, according to PwC.

PwC said in a research paper released on Tuesday (26 October) that the government must address a number of domestic concerns if it expects to see strong economic growth following the pandemic.

And that’s in spite of all the outside influences that should be helping to boost growth.

“The reintroduction of load shedding is a critical part of the economic outlook for the fourth quarter of 2021. Load-shedding returned to South Africa in the second week of October after an absence of 11 weeks.

Nearly 15,000 MW of the utility’s coal-powered fleet was rendered inoperable due to “unexpected power station outages,” “delays in restoring certain other units under maintenance” and “the quicker-than-expected depletion of emergency systems.”

For some time, PwC’s baseline scenario projected that power outages would return in the fourth quarter, according to the firm. Despite this, the organization still expects the power disruptions to result in significant employment losses.

This would result in a 3% decline in the country’s GDP growth in 2021, and 350,000 lost employment, according to the report.

South Africa, according to Energy Thought Leader CEO Mike Rossouw, has passed the tipping point because of Eskom’s poor situation.

Rossouw recently told radio station 702 that Eskom is on the verge of collapse.

Eskom appointed Rossouw as an advisor in 2014, reporting directly to the previous CEO Collin Matjila, after he stepped down as chair of the Energy Intensive Users Group.

“I don’t see a way out of this mess. Rossouw remarked, “I see a freight train barreling down the tunnel toward us.” As a result, load-shedding will be used for significantly longer periods of time.

He predicted that once Eskom went bankrupt, “services, everything” will go bankrupt as well.

South African officials, according to Rossouw, aren’t willing to do what it takes to address Eskom’s coal-fired power plants’ problems.

Power plants, especially recently built ones like Medupi and Kusile, break down at an alarming pace, according to the energy expert.

Eskom’s planning, he added, had failed due to a lack of capabilities, and the company’s execution of work was well below par.

This technique is so good that some plants don’t even need care before they disintegrate again, according to Rossouw.

In addition, the utility lacks the resources to put in place measures like purchasing electricity from non-utility sources.

South Africa’s political leaders must take responsibility for what has transpired if they want to find a solution. According to Rossouw, the work that has to be done will be difficult politically as well as personally. “We’re no longer afforded the luxury of choice.”

Eskom released its load shedding projection for the next 18 months last week, indicating that rolling blackouts will be common in South Africa for the foreseeable future.

Staff Writer

Published by
Staff Writer