Power Crisis in South Africa

The electricity system in South Africa is in a tragic state with little hope of rescue in the short term. This is a heart-breaking report from Jo Nova.

National rolling blackouts have been occurring for days in South Africa and are forecast to continue for another week at least. One engineer warns they are just a step away from a total blackout and says it will be very difficult to reawaken the entire system. Traffic lights are failing, trains are stopping, and mobiles phones, ATMs and fuel pumps may not work. With unemployment at a shocking 35% already, the million dollar losses from blackouts make for a dark feedback loop.

Read and weep. And cry for our beloved country as well because we are on the same road.

18 responses to “Power Crisis in South Africa”

  1. jupes Avatar

    Without electricity, South Africa cannot survive as a country. Mini totalitarian states aka tribes will make a comeback. Yay! Back to the joys of pre-colonial life.

  2. RobK Avatar

    The South African experience is a sad one. A new study goes some way to explain some of the storage issues facing Australia. RTWT.

    These periods of low wind or wind droughts have seemingly occurred for as long as wind has been measured and recorded (note the term Doldrums for you sailor types). Sometimes these droughts affect small areas of the NEM and sometimes they can cover multiple states. These droughts have lasted for a day or two, or sometimes even longer than a week. But more importantly – these ‘events’ or ‘droughts’ are often embedded within a longer season of low renewable output.

    It graphs a big lack of weather energy in 2010, then adds-

    However, while this renewable drought requires much planning and a strong and prepared NEM to get through it – the bigger issue is that if such a drought is part of a prolonged low wind and solar output ‘season.’ This was very much the case in 2010, which suffered a train of wind droughts throughout the winter with little time to recover between them. Here we have found the scale of the issue beyond a solution based on a just ‘add storage’ approach. Even making the heroic assumption that States are strongly interconnected and operate as a selfless part of NEM requires significant levels of renewable overbuild, large levels of storage and backup firm generation. One of the high renewable scenarios we modelled had 140GW of wind and solar, 10 x Snowy 2.0’s, perfect interconnection and still required 20 GW of thermal backup plant used throughout June and July to survive the winter without loss. Poor interconnection or lack of co-ordination between the States will greatly increase the need for storage and thermal backup.

    These findings are consistent with my experience in running an off-grid business for almost 3decades. A run down of storage is a difficult thing to manage without backup.

  3. Maniac Avatar

    I’m willing to bet that this wouldn’t be as much of an issue if some of those no-good, evil Dutch occupiers were still around.

  4. Crossie Avatar

    The ultimate irony is that it’s the colonialists, meaning rich Europeans, who are inflicting the renewable shambles on the poor people.

  5. Vicki Avatar

    It is infuriating that this has not been covered by our media

    Just another reason why I check in with Jo & The Cats every day.

  6. Anchor What Avatar
    Anchor What

    It’s not just South Africa. We live in The Age of Failed Politics.

  7. Miltonf Avatar

    Don’t weep ffs get angry and fight back

  8. Dave of Gold Coast, Aust. Avatar
    Dave of Gold Coast, Aust.

    All running to the exact plan of destroying civilisation as we know it. The Socialist/Greens/Communists are on the energy destroying programmes world wide. The plan is to reduce the survivors to serfdom and submission no matter the cost in human suffering, misery and death. Remember they were voted in by the majority!

  9. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha Avatar
    Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I’m willing to bet that this wouldn’t be as much of an issue if some of those no-good, evil Dutch occupiers were still around.

    All the (white) senior management of EKSCOM – the South African Electricity Commission – were eased out of their positions, in the name of “Black Empowerment, some years ago. When the power cuts and “brownouts” began, they were asked to return and solve the problems. To a man, they refused.

  10. thefrollickingmole Avatar

    Chap who worked here a few years back migrated from SA.
    His previous job?
    Installing generators at well to do peoples houses.

  11. Alain Avatar

    Well done to south Africa for reducing their carbon footprint.

    Like Zimbabwe they need to transition to greener farming practices so we can all eat ze bugs.

  12. Perplexed of Brisbane Avatar
    Perplexed of Brisbane

    Did the post-Mandela shanty towns all get electricity and running water or are they the same as before him?

    I doubt they would notice the blackouts.

    Ironically, those people would be best placed to survive in a world without electricity. It would be business as usual for them. The west on the other hand…..

  13. bespoke Avatar

    Chang over or not you can’t build a first world country on the backs of an unskilled workforce.

  14. another ian Avatar
    another ian

    It seems to me that, from Ethiopia to Capetown, Africa makes more sense if you look at it from the tribal level.

    And 500 years or so of European interference hasn’t changed what tribe hates what tribe’s guts – but has altered the shape of what tribes are now in control

  15. Jannie Avatar

    The ANC has destroyed SA’s electrical system without any help from the Greens. There are many specific causal factors, but they all boil down to ignorance and corruption.

    Probably the biggest single factor is that all corporations there, public and private, give jobs to their ANC political mates. They honestly do not believe that technical skill is required to run a complex machine, and that machines must be maintained. Big white lies. There is no concept of merit or competence as in the West. They think of merit as something representing familial proximity or feudal fealty, and competence is a white fetish.

    White and black Leftist intellectuals blame it all on whites for not not training the blacks properly.

  16. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare Avatar
    Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Thanks for this post, Rafe. I wasn’t aware at all of this situation.

    Although it is not unexpected. I haven’t been to South Africa for years except for a brief transit stopover in Jo’burg a few years back, where I picked up the papers and was horrified at the anti-white rhetoric they were filled with. It didn’t bode well for maintaining a highly technical industrial economy which was what South Africa once had.

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