Despite Eskom’s optimistic projection of improving the EAF to 69% by 2030, the more likely scenario suggests it will remain at around 60% for the rest of the decade. This historic underperformance, coupled with delayed commissioning of new generation facilities, has created a substantial supply and demand imbalance, paving the way for country-wide load shedding.
Load shedding has become a near-constant reality for South Africans since 2008, with the supply shortfall ranging between 4 GW and 6 GW in 2022 alone. Figures 4 depict an all-time high in load shedding incidents, and the prognosis indicates that this challenge is likely to persist for the next three to seven years.
With an increasing supply shortfall, Eskom is increasingly relying on diesel-based gas turbines to mitigate the effects of higher stages of load shedding. This reliance, however, comes at a cost, driving up the overall expense of electricity over time. The economic ramifications are significant, impacting not only the immediate financial health of businesses coping with extended periods without power but also casting a shadow on the broader South African economy.