South Africa

South African taxpayers think load-shedding will never end

A report commissioned by BrandMapp found that 50% of South African taxpayers believed load-shedding would never end.

The report used data from 1,496 South Africans who stayed in households that earn above R10,000 per month, meaning they are taxpayers.

72% of South Africa’s taxpayers say that blackouts have affected their work life negatively, and productivity is the biggest casualty. 

Young people are disproportionately affected by the loss of work opportunities, which is deeply concerning in the context of the country’s high youth unemployment rate. 

Almost 30% of respondents reported that staff safety and security are compromised during load shedding, and 21% note an increase in theft during blackouts.

South Africa is crime-ridden with the lights on, but the emotional heft and financial losses from crime are significantly amplified during power outages.

South Africans don’t believe that the government has the ability to stop load-shedding in the short or medium term.

The report found that just 2% of taxpayers believe load-shedding will be solved in under a year.  9% of respondents indicated that the load-shedding crisis would be resolved within 20 years. 

The report also found that people from the Western Cape are slightly more positive about the timeline on which load-shedding can be solved.

The report attributed this to the lower levels of load-shedding experienced in the Western Cape and the “constant communication” of solutions at a local level.

Politicians make big promises

Last week, the new minister of electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, refused to be drawn on providing a timeline to end load-shedding.

He said that solving load-shedding is his only focus and that it will be solved.

Other roleplayers in electricity governance have been more forthcoming with timelines.

The minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, said in an interview with eNCA earlier this year that load-shedding could be resolved in six to twelve months.

In September last year, the minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, said that load-shedding could be solved within 18 months. In 2019, he also told ENCA that load-shedding would end in 18 months.

Eskom chairperson Mpho Makwana said that load-shedding could be ended in the next 18 to 24 months, according to News24

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