South Africa is in talks with energy intensive users such as industry to reduce demand by up to 5 000 MW and prevent blackouts, although a loss in output and jobs were a concern, the energy minister said on Thursday.
However, no power blackouts in Africa’s largest economy were expected during the June to August winter months when demand is expected to peak, Dipuo Peters told the media ahead of her budget vote speech.
“Business is also challenged with the issues of productivity. If you say they must save, even voluntary or mandatory, 10% (of their energy needs) they say they have the particular challenge of productivity… and jobs,” Peters said.
“We are in a Catch 22 situation,” she said about the need to save both energy and jobs.
Peters said South Africa wanted to divert households to liquid petroleum gas, away from the use of electricity for cooking, as it sought to save power.