Accessibility links

Breaking News

S. Africa Lifts Power 'State of Emergency'

FILE: A candle burns in a house on the Cape Flats, due to South Africa's struggling power utility company Eskom, implementing regular power cuts - called 'load-shedding', in Cape Town, South Africa February 11, 2023..

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has revoked a national "state of disaster" declared in February to manage a crippling electricity crisis, the government said on Wednesday.

South Africa's government will now work through its Energy Crisis Committee to reduce the impact of power cuts using existing legislation and contingency arrangements, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) minister Thembi Nkadimeng said in a statement.

The state of disaster gave the government additional powers to respond to the crisis, including by permitting emergency procurement procedures with fewer bureaucratic delays and less oversight.

As part of efforts to mitigate the impact of the crisis, newly appointed electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa in recent weeks visited utility Eskom's power stations and had consultations within government and with Eskom aimed at resolving the electricity shortages, CoGTA said.

The government decided to terminate the disaster regulations in view of those developments, it said.

State of disaster legislation was used to enable health authorities to respond more swiftly to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some analysts doubted it would help the government expand power supply much quicker.