South Africa must implement reforms to boost private-sector investment, promote good governance and improve the efficiency of public spending to shore up an economy hamstrung by rolling blackouts, the International Monetary Fund said.
Severe power outages, known locally as load shedding, coupled with softer commodity prices mean Africa’s most industrialised economy will probably only grow 0.1% in 2023, the Washington-based lender said Wednesday after a staff visit to South Africa. That compares with its January estimate of 1.2% and the National Treasury’s projection of 0.9%.
State-owned company Eskom has implemented daily blackouts for more than 200 days last year and on all but one day of 2023. The rolling outages, which started in 2008, are needed to protect the grid from collapse when the company’s old, and mostly coal-fired plants can’t meet demand.