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Vol 55 No 25

Published 19th December 2014

South Africa

The politics of power

Eskom is torn between the twin dictates of low government tariffs for the public and industry and re-investment priorities

Blackouts returned to major cities in November as the embattled Electricity Supply Commission began load-shedding for the second time this year. It is the latest drama in a torrid year for Eskom, which generates 95% of South Africa's electricity, and a further blow to the energy-hungry economy. The government appears to have few answers. The parastatal's Chief Executive Officer, Tshediso Matona, described Eskom as facing its 'most challenging position in living memory'. Supply will be 'constrained for the foreseeable future' as Eskom struggles to maintain its creaking generating plant and increase capacity, it said recently.

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