Power outages are the biggest brake on South Africa‘s economic growth, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said Monday, as factories, homes and offices across the country continue to suffer from long electricity cuts.
South Africa is forecast to grow at two percent this year, far below the rate needed to ease high unemployment and growing frustration among many young blacks more than two decades after the end of apartheid.
“The most pressing risk facing us at the moment is the energy generation,” Nene told foreign correspondents at a briefing in Johannesburg.
“We are concerned at the negative impact that electricity constraint is having on our growth and potential growth.”
Load-shedding — scheduled power cuts to reduce energy usage — has become part of everyday life for many people and companies in South Africa.