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SA: Electricity Minister optimistic about power problems

Newly appointed South African Electricity Minister Kgosientso Ramokgopa (L) addresses Eskom workers during a visit to the Lethabo Power Station near Sasolburg, South Africa,   -  
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South Africa

In an attempt to find solutions to South Africa's energy crisis, newly appointed electricity minister, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, visits the Lethabo Power Station in the Free State.

The Minister says the Lethabo power station is the first that he has come across, since he started his visits this week, that is performing well.

Ramokgopa says he is optimistic that load-shedding will end.

"Loadshedding will not be ended through an act of God. So Easter is coming, irrespective of the amount of prayer that we put it won't resolve loadshedding. Loadshedding will be resolved by getting the units back online. Loadshedding will be resolved by ensuring that we are able to improve the operational efficiency of these units."

South Africa’s power problem is taking a huge chunk out its GDP after its central bank estimated that $51 million is lost every day due to load shedding.

"Unserviced electricity in this country is costing the South African economy 500 billion rands per annum. We also know from stats SA that the GDP contraction as a result of loadshedding is about 2.1 percentage points. We got statistics just the other day that the South African economy has contracted bt 1.3 percent on the back of loadshedding," he added.

The country’s power crisis started 15 years ago, but this year kicked off with South Africans suffering through the most devastating incidences of load shedding—power blackouts of between six to 12 hours a day—that have led to loss of millions of dollars in business revenue across all sectors

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