By Ketshepaone Modise Climate Energy Officer Earthlife Africa

Residents of South Africa will remember 2022 for a host of different reasons, but one collective memory will be of the almost unremitting burden of power cuts.

In total, there were 157 full days of load shedding (spread across the year) in 2022, compared to 48 days in 2021, and 35 days in 2020. Sadly, and shockingly, the worst is yet to come, with most energy analysts predicting that 2023 is likely to see at least 200 full days of load shedding. This will mean that over the year, there will be more hours without power than with it.  

As we all currently sit in the dark, mulling over how long Stage 6 will last, fearing what Stages 7 and 8 may bring, we know that we will be paying at least 19% more for electricity – when we are actually able to access it. While there is a distinctly farcical element to all of this, in reality, the ongoing crisis at Eskom is a very real tragedy for South Africa.  

Last year was so bad, and this year is likely to be worse, because of the appalling availability of Eskom’s fleet of power stations.

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Ketshepaone Modise is Earthlife Africa’s Climate Energy Officer. She provides strategic support to community-based partners on interventions for public hearings on EIA, and related energy and climate-change developments. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Environmental Sciences.