South Africa: Load Shedding- The Achilles Heel of the South African Agricultural Sector

  |   Attaché Report (GAIN)   |   SF2022-0020

The enormous restraint on electricity generation and resulting power outages, locally known as load shedding, is emerging as a significant threat to South African agriculture. The cumulative hours of load shedding in the first seven months of 2022 already exceeds the annual record set in 2021. At the current pace, the total number of load shedding hours for the year could surpass 100 days. As an advanced agricultural economy reliant upon modern farming practices, the South African sector is not structured to withstand significant power outages. Although not yet quantified, the impact could be in the billions of dollars. As a result, profitability and sustainability of the industry are under threat and could limit future investments, which would in turn negatively impact food security, job creation and economic growth.

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