SA’s power outages spread across Southern Africa

Indications were that though the negative impact on both business loss and potential social consequences could not be quantified as of yet, it was anticipated the situation would worsen. Zimbabwe which has been experiencing persistent shortages as a result of the scarcity of foreign currency could not rule out intermittent power cuts. South Africa, the region’s powerhouse, hinted in recent years that the ever rising domestic demand would force the Southern African giant to cut exports to neighbouring Zimbabwe and Namibia come 2008. Despite efforts to salvage the pending crisis, experts warned ‘an energy crisis’ was in the offing. Hence the call for affected Governments to move swiftly and rid the region of the catastrophe. Namibia’s sole power utility, Nampower, said power shortages were inevitable owing to the goings-on in South Africa. Leake Hangala, managing director, Nampower said Namibia was on the verge of experiencing black-outs as supply dwindles. Hangala said Namibia imports an average 60 percent of its energy from South Africa. The recent problems being experienced at one of the 900MW units at Koeberg, South Africa affected imports. He explained: “The recent problem experienced with one of the 900MW units at Koeberg in South Africa affected imports of power from South Africa and other Southern African countries. “Nampower has been successful in minising the impact on Namibia. However it would not be able to continue doing so indefinitely.” The utility boss said as a result load shedding was set to grace the largely desert country. Hangala said Namibia’s situation was being exacerbated by the rather low water flow being exeprienced by the Kunene River in the northern side of the country.

March 2006
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