News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
20 Feb 2019
12:29 pm

Load shedding in 2007/08 cost economy estimated R50bn

Makhosandile Zulu

Zondo says government admitted at the time that it was warned about load shedding eight years earlier.

Eskom's Medupi power station. Picture: Supplied to Moneyweb

A report by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) estimated that load shedding between November 1, 2007, to January 31, 2008, cost the country’s economy R50 billion.

The report, released in 2008, was tabled before the commission of inquiry into state capture by evidence leader advocate Isaac Maleka and will, along with a number of other reports, be used during the course of the commission conducting its inquiry into allegations of state capture at Eskom.

Nersa resolved to conduct a probe into the power utility after the country experienced load shedding from November 2007 to January 2008, attracting national attention.

The regulator’s report revealed that five incidents of load shedding occurred in November 2007, four in December that year, with January 2008 seeing the most incidents numbered at 14, which, the report states, was due to an increase in demand following the festive period of 2007.

The report further revealed that 4,000 megawatts were shed on January 24 2008.

Nersa recommended that Eskom should prioritise corrective measures to avoid the consequences and the impact load shedding has on the country’s economy.

The chairperson of the commission, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, recalled that the executive arm of the country’s government admitted at the time that it had been warned eight years earlier that if certain things were not done then load shedding would occur.

Maleka said when the power utility’s chairperson appears before the commission, issues around load shedding, considering its recent resurgence, will be raised, with the key question being what other options consumers have in light of load shedding.

The utility’s chair, Jabu Mabuza, is expected to appear before the commission on Friday and Monday, January 25.

Another report that Maleka tabled at the commission resulted from the Denton investigation into Eskom.

Watch the commission of inquiry into state capture live:

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