A woman and her great-grandson sit in candlelight during a power cut in 2021.
 Enforced blackouts are already a way of life under the beleaguered state power firm

Power cuts increase to 6 hours daily in South Africa

South Africa’s scheduled power cuts are being increased to up to six hours a day to avoid catastrophic grid collapse.

The main power company Eskom blames its striking workers demanding a 10% pay rise for these new enforced blackouts – or load shedding, as it’s called in the country.

Eskom says it relies on government bailouts to keep the lights on, and therefore it cannot increase its wage bill.

As a result the blackouts will begin for five hours on Tuesday evening, and again on Wednesday evening.

South Africa is the continent’s most industrialised country, and this disruption to homes and businesses comes in the middle of the Southern hemisphere’s cold winter.

Eskom’s problems emanate from a $26bn (£21bn) debt burden, along with an old and failing grid. It did recently build two new power stations but both have design flaws and are unable to provide power on a constant basis.

Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on editorkingsuba@gmail.com. I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles