South Africa Blackouts Ongoing as Mozambique Cyclone Cuts Supply

(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s power utility said controlled blackouts will continue through Sunday after a cyclone that hit neighboring Mozambique curbed power imports.

“It appears unlikely that the imports from Mozambique will be restored in the next few days,” Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. said in a statement. The utility planned to build up water reserves for additional power to help the grid avoid further cuts during the week.

Stage 4 power cuts, the highest level that has been implemented by the utility, reflects the unreliability of aging coal stations, a reliance on imports and defects in even the newest plants built. That level of electricity rationing will be implemented from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, according to Eskom.

The fourth straight day of rotational power cuts, known as load-shedding, is intended to protect the system from a total collapse.

Eskom is seen as one of the biggest risks to the country’s economy, burdened by operational and financial woes stemming from years of mismanagement and massive cost overruns on two new coal-fired power stations that should have been completed in 2015.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.