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.
SA #electricity generation decreased by 0,6% y/y in May 2019. Generation fell by 0,5% in May 2019 compared with April 2019. This followed m/m changes of 3,2% in April 2019 and -1,3% in March 2019 #StatsSA https://t.co/Fj84urOGqt pic.twitter.com/Jassq053iA
— Stats SA (@StatsSA) July 4, 2019
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.”
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.”
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:
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.