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Nationwide blackouts in South Africa 2-4 hrs a day for the next 5+ years...


Staff member
Starting in January, the national electricity provider here, Eskom, announced it would be doing nationwide blackouts of several hours a day because power demand exceeds supply (by a lot). Called "load shedding", this is already having an impact on residents and businesses across South Africa. Everything goes down: traffic lights, mines, industry, everything during a blackout, there is no warning, the power just goes out at a random time during the day.

This happened to a lesser extent down here in 2007 when most homeowners and businesses began to buy gas generators and resort to extreme power conservation measures to reduce consumption.

Recently, major generating plants have failed and the promised new plants (due to be in operation in 2012) have not materialized. Local media accounts here put the blame on incompetence and "skill shortage" (nobody currently on staff at the plants knows how to keep the generating plants running and well maintained as all the money is going to administrative bloat and cronyism jobs).

Even if those promised plants materialize this year (unlikely), they will only replace what other plants have failed and are now failing. Even if shovels go in the ground today (that isn't going to happen) to build 5 or 6 new generating plants it will take 5 years to build them in a best case scenario and most likely 10 years as this is Africa.

Since South Africa produces 85% of the worlds platinum, here's a tip: buy platinum! Platinum mines are down 2-4 hours a day now and this will probably get worse over the next 5 years so the price is sure to go up. Or they will have to generate their own power somehow and this will increase production cost and thus the price.

If I had the cash, I would start up a company here to import wind and solar technology because the demand will be huge as companies and individuals start disconnecting from Eskom in the years ahead to fend for themselves.

If more generating plants fail, which could happen, the entire national grid could fail said the Eskom CEO the other day. The situation is beak.

I will be looking to install wind turbine or solar panel on my home here, at least to power the computer and security alarm stuff.
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
How much load shedding costs South Africa
The cost to the economy during stage 1 load shedding – 10 hours of blackouts per day for 20 days a month – is R20 billion per month.

Stage 2 load shedding, using the same time parameters, costs the economy R40 billion per month, while stage 3 is estimated to cost SA R80 billion per month


TRIBE Member
I guess it's not going to be fun when your security system goes down and your home gets looted