Thu. Oct 17th, 2019

Not so bright: Here’s how much electricity production has slumped in South Africa

South Africa’s electricity production and distribution is on the slide, despite Eskom’s recent aversion to load shedding: Here’s how much energy SA is using.

not so bright heres how much electricity production has slumped in south africa - Not so bright: Here’s how much electricity production has slumped in South Africa

The poor performance of Eskom and its subsequent load shedding disasters have had a telling effect on the way energy is both produced and consumed in South Africa. The figures indicate year-to-date losses for the total amount of electricity generated in South Africa and a drop in how much of it is being distributed to citizens.

Electricity production, consumption decrease

StatsSA compiled the concerning figures earlier on Thursday. They outlined the issues with electricity generation first, showing both annual and monthly decreases. March was a particularly bruising month for the grid, as Stage 4 power outages plunged Mzansi into darkness.

“Electricity generation (production) decreased by 0.6% year-on-year in May 2019. Seasonally adjusted electricity generation decreased by 0.5% in May 2019 compared with April 2019. This followed month-on-month changes of 3.2% in April 2019 and -1.3% in March 2019.”

“Seasonally adjusted electricity generation increased by 0.3% in the three months ended May 2019 compared with the previous three months.”

StatsSA

In turn, that inability to generate the same amount of energy meant that the consumer was hit by the slump, too:

“Electricity distribution (consumption) decreased by 1.3% year-on-year in May 2019. Seasonally adjusted electricity distribution was flat month-on-month in May 2019, following month-on-month changes of 3% in April 2019 and -1.5% in March 2019.”

“Seasonally adjusted electricity distribution decreased by 0.6% in the three months ended May 2019 compared with the previous three months.”

StatsSA

Eskom: Power generation off to a stuttering start in 2019

In fact, the last five months of energy production from Eskom looks like a losing streak that could only be matched by the EFF’s recent record in court. They have recorded year-on-year losses for electricity generated in every month of 2019 so far. The figures for June do not feature, though:

  • January 2019: Down by 2.1%.
  • February 2019: Down by 2%.
  • March 2019: Down by 2.3%
  • April 2019: Down by 1.3%
  • May 2019: Down by 1.1%
  • June 2019: To be confirmed

How much electricity does South Africa use?

Once the energy is produced, we then look at how its being consumed. The stats show how much energy is being consumed in South Africa per month, using a scale of gigawatt-hours. This current year is struggling to outperform – or even match – the figures set by each corresponding month:

3e4456c8 energy electricity - Not so bright: Here’s how much electricity production has slumped in South Africa
skom energy production in South Africa over the past five years – Photo: StatsSA

We may only be halfway through the year, but energy security in South Africa isn’t as healthy as it once was. Having said that, July marks four months since the last load shedding incident in the country, and the government’s nine-point turnaround plan for winter seems to be working well enough. The lights, for the meantime, are staying on.

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