Eskom described the electricity supplyposition as an "emergency or forcemajeure," which will likely last from two to four weeks.The utility has asked its 138 biggestindustrial customers to reduce their electricity usage to the minimum level possible.
"The impact extends beyond the mining sector, which now only contributes around 5.5% to GDP, although, as a key exporter, is crucial for the current account position," Davies said. Almost all business sectors have been affected in some way, with small businesses particularly hard-hit, he said.Eskom has also reduced power supply to neighboring countries, which are some of South Africa's major trading partners. (Reuters photo)
The power issue will not subside soon. It is slated to be a two year fix with heavy emphasis on conservation. The two year mark is non-negotiable because South Africa is due to host World Cup Soccer with an expected attendance of over a quarter of a million people to descend to upon the venues and use power for showers and shopping. Soccer or football is a sport beloved by most of the civilized world and yawned at by most Americans. It is now a national emergency with no other priorities to take its place.
Restaurants have been particularly hard-hit.
"We're without power up to four times a week, often at our peak time in the early evening," says Lizaan Joubert, the manager of the Orient Restaurant at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg.
"It puts enormous pressure on our kitchen, and it affects the menu. Our customers remain loyal to us, but from a business perspective, this is the worst thing that's happened to us."Mrs Sonnenberg, who is in a wheelchair, says it is especially worrying when the power goes off without warning at night.
More about South Africa's regional economic alliances and resources are found inside inside this comprehensive offering by James J. Hentz. The title of this body of work discussing the changes of economic realities from being a conquest of colonialism to apartheid to a functioning democracy with economic interests is South Africa and the Logic of Regional Cooperation.