Sharp drop in SA power generation

Dane McDonald

Cape Town – Electricity generated by South Africa dropped by 3.3% for July compared to the same period last year, Statistics South Africa said on Thursday.

The total volume of electricity distributed in SA for the month of July has decreased progressively from 21 119 GWh in 2013 to 19 994 GWh in 2015.

Stats SA conducts a monthly survey of the electricity industry to measure the volume of electricity units distributed.

The drastic implementation of load shedding since the beginning of 2015 has hit the SA economy hard.

The country’s gross domestic product contracted by 1.3% in the second quarter of 2015, a statistic economists say was directly linked to load shedding.

Despite a slight year-on-year upward trend from -3.5% in May to -1.7% in June, electricity generation plunged to -3.3% for July.
Manager of industry statistics for Stats SA Nicolai Claassen told Fin24 that the consumption of electricity is ‘correlated’ with its production.

“Electricity demand generally drives supply,” he said.

Eskom, which produced 95% of SA’s electricity in 2014, entered its 26th day without load shedding on Thursday.

Meanwhile unit 6 of Medupi power station was officially opened by President Jacob Zuma on Sunday.

The unit has been synchronised onto the national grid and has undergone a period of testing.