South Africa goes 30 days without power cuts in boost for economy

South Africa‘s struggling power utility Eskom has marked 30 straight days without imposing rolling power cuts.

To prevent the national grid from collapse, state-run Eskom has been forced to resort to controlled power outages known locally as “load shedding”.

“Eskom has not had load shedding for the past 30 consecutive days and none is anticipated for the day,” the utility said in a recent statement.

“The power system is expected to remain constrained but stable for the rest of the week with a low risk of load shedding,” it said.

The electricity situation has been helped by unseasonably warm temperatures the past few weeks and the start of the Medupi plant, South Africa’s first new power station in 20 years which has added 794 megawatts to the strained grid.

Power shortages are a key constraint to Africa’s most industrialized economy, which shrank by 1.3 percent in the second quarter, raising the risk of a recession if the decline continues this quarter.

“The chances of avoiding a recession are better if there is no or a lot less load shedding, so it is good news. Load shedding has been a shock to the economy,” said Christie Viljoen of NKC African Economics.