Stage 6 load shedding ‘condemns SA economy to recession’

The worsening electricity supply across the country which saw Eskom move to Stage 6 load shedding starting yesterday evening is a death knell for the South African economy according to some experts.

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Dr. Iraj Abedian, CEO of Pan-African Investment and Research Services says the country’s economy is unlikely to survive the onslaught.

“With Eskom confirming a Stage 6 blackout from today, one thing is certain: the SA economy is now condemned to recession. Eskom too should be put into voluntary business rescue, politicians have proved their inability to grasp the severity of the problem facing our nation. Shame!”

Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) agrees.

“This means 3 to 4 times blackouts a day! No economy can survive that! Workers and the poor will be the biggest losers.”

A report into the impact of Eskom’s rolling blackouts impact on the economy published in June by investment and research firm FACTSET found that the are indeed plunging the entire country into total darkness and have essentially brought economic activity to a halt.

Raksha Gosai, author of the report says Eskom’s woes are undoubtedly adding to economic uncertainty.

“Eskom’s ongoing difficulties remain a challenge for the economy. According to the IMF, Eskom is a “major downside risk” to South African economic growth. Until the government can engineer a solution to this systemic problem, the country’s economic future remains uncertain.”

In a statement issued by the Presidency last night soon after Eskom announced that it would implement Stage 6 load shedding, President Cyril Ramaphosa admitted that the blackouts are going to harm South Africa’s economic fortunes.

“The ongoing load shedding is devastating for the country. It is causing our economy great harm and disrupting the lives of citizens,” said Ramaphosa who is currently on an official visit to Egypt.