Accessibility links

Breaking News

Business and Technology

ANC Calls Power Cuts "Disaster"

FILE: Maria Modiba cooks by a candlelight during one of the frequent power outages from South African utility Eskom, caused by its aging coal-fired plants, in Soweto, South Africa November 11, 2022
FILE: Maria Modiba cooks by a candlelight during one of the frequent power outages from South African utility Eskom, caused by its aging coal-fired plants, in Soweto, South Africa November 11, 2022

South Africa's governing ANC party has asked top officials to declare a national state of disaster to end severe electricity blackouts that have wreaked havoc on Africa's most industrialised nation, its secretary general said Tuesday.

Declaring a national disaster would unlock additional funds and resources to "better manage the crisis," Fikile Mbalula told a news conference after the party's new executive committee met over the weekend.

The years-long crisis of intermittent power cuts has worsened in recent months, with the electricity network operated by the debt-laden state energy firm Eskom failing to keep pace with demand as it struggles to maintain its ageing coal-powered infrastructure.

"We shouldn't be arrogant and deny the fact that we have... a crisis," Mbalula told a news conference.

"We are responding to this crisis, and the president and the team in government have been given a clear instruction by the ANC," he said.

He said the move would speed up the response of President Cyril Ramaphosa's administration, with a target of ending the blackouts by year-end.

The scheduled blackouts, which can last from two hours to over 12 hours a day, have sparked widespread anger and taken a heavy toll on industrial production and businesses.

Opposition parties have vowed to stage more protests against the government's response to the blackouts, after the most recent mass demonstrations last week drew several thousands of people into the streets.

South Africa's economic growth is expected to slow to just 0.3 percent this year because of the power shortages, after growth of 2.5 percent last year.

See all News Updates of the Day

Africa News Tonight: South Africa coalition takes shape, UNHCR reports surge in displacement, Russia builds ties with Chad

Africa News Tonight: South Africa coalition takes shape, UNHCR reports surge in displacement, Russia builds ties with Chad
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:24:55 0:00
Direct link

Africa News Tonight: State funeral planned for Malawi vice president, bank succeeds with inclusivity, Tunisia, China tighten relationship

Africa News Tonight: State funeral planned for Malawi vice president, bank succeeds with inclusivity, Tunisia, China tighten relationship
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:24:55 0:00
Direct link

Africa News Tonight: Ruto talks business on US visit, South Africa’s DA not likely to unseat ANC, young Nigerians aim to enter politics

Africa News Tonight: Ruto talks business on US visit, South Africa’s DA not likely to unseat ANC, young Nigerians aim to enter politics
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:24:55 0:00
Direct link

Africa News Tonight: Upbeat outlook for African economies, Russian forces seen in Libya, South African whistleblowers penalized

Africa News Tonight: Upbeat outlook for African economies, Russian forces seen in Libya, South African whistleblowers penalized
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:24:55 0:00
Direct link

Africa News Tonight: ANC loses suit against Zuma’s MK party, Cameroon opposition launches voter campaign, IMF urges fiscal resilience

Africa News Tonight: ANC loses suit against Zuma’s MK party, Cameroon opposition launches voter campaign, IMF urges fiscal resilience
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:24:56 0:00
Direct link

Load more

XS
SM
MD
LG