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Opposition activists march in Johannesburg denouncing SA's energy crisis

Opposition activists march in Johannesburg   -  
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PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP or licensors

South Africa

Hundreds of opposition activists took to the the streets of Johannesburg in South Africa on Wednesday (Jan. 25) to demonstrate against the energy crisis causing record power cuts in the country.

The activists, from the opposition's Democratic Alliance, marched towards the headquarters of the ruling ANC party.

"Enough is enough we want our power back", demanded web developer Justin van Leeuwen.

Pensioner Muriel Balance said "I hope that everything, that they will look into this matter. That they will really look into this matter. So that they can fix this nonsense".

"Let's comeback to reality, let's face reality, the country has now gone down", admitted pensioner Peter Delange

Scheduled blackouts, known as load-shedding, have been a part of daily life in South Africa for years, with state-owned energy firm Eskom failing to keep pace with demand and maintain its ageing coal power infrastructure.

But in the last 12 months the outages have reached new extremes, with lights going off several times a day sometimes for almost 12 hours in total.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said this week it was "understandable" that people were "fed up" at the crisis, which was wreaking "havoc" on the country but warned it could not be fixed "overnight".

At an ANC meeting earlier this week, the president said the government was looking to import electricity from abroad and add production from renewable energy sources.

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