What Does the State of Disaster Declaration Mean for South Africa's Electricity Crisis?
MIN READFeb 10, 2023 | 21:51 GMT
A general view shows the darkened Braamfontein district of Johannesburg, South Africa, on Jan. 15, 2023, after a ''load-shedding'' blackout was implemented.
(MARCO LONGARI/AFP via Getty Images)
The government's emergency declaration will unlock extra financing and fast-track regulatory processes, but it's unlikely to address the underlying drivers forcing the country's grid operator to impose ongoing power cuts, portending more blackouts that will further damage South Africa's development and business environment. On Feb. 9, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an indefinite state of disaster over the country's electricity crisis during his State of the Nation address at Cape Town City Hall. South Africa's electricity crisis has markedly worsened over the past two years, culminating in a record number of consecutive blackout days in 2023, widespread discontent and mounting political pressure over the administration's response, prompting emergency measures. The state of disaster will empower the government to accelerate project development, free up financial resources and cut down on regulatory requirements, which Ramaphosa said his administration will use to provide generators, solar panels and uninterrupted power supply to businesses...