South Africa's ongoing power crisis is costing the country $51 million a day, with a predicted total economic loss of $12.7 billion for 2023, according to the country's central bank.
Eskom, the state-owned power monopoly, has been blamed for the crisis and its inability to upgrade its coal-based plants to protect the national grid from collapse.
The crisis has led to devastating power blackouts of between six to 12 hours a day, which have affected businesses across all sectors, causing losses in revenue. The bank's governor, Lesetja Kganyago, said that without power outages, South Africa's GDP growth could have been at 2.3% this year. The country's economic growth is expected to be at 0.3% this year, down from 1.1% in 2022.
To help alleviate the challenges, the government has pledged to pay half of Eskom's debt, totalling $14 billion, to bail it out of the financial crisis.
Eskom's efforts to address the crisis have also been hampered by corruption, with outgoing CEO André de Ruyter surviving an alleged poisoning attempt when attempting to purge corrupt managers. The ongoing power crisis has raised the likelihood of a recession in South Africa to 45% this year.