Eskom has announced that it will implement stage 1 load shedding from 17:00 until 22:00 on Wednesday evening (27 May 2015).
This is due to a shortage of generation capacity, it said.
Speaking at the Actuarial Society of South Africa’s Investment Seminar in Cape Town on Wednesday, deputy governor of the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb), Francois Groepe noted that load shedding had contributed to weaker GDP figures for the quarter.
On Tuesday, Stats SA reported that the country’s GDP increased by 1.3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the 4.1% y/y GDP increase in the fourth quarter of 2014.
This, against the backdrop of the sluggish growth rate of 1.5% for 2014, well below the reserve bank’s estimate of potential output of between 2% and 2.5%.
Load shedding could hamper new investment coming into South Africa, but it also has an impact on existing capacity and therefore on current output, Groepe said.
“We estimate this latter factor to be in the order of magnitude of around 0.5 percentage points of GDP,” he said.
“Load shedding appears to have contributed to a general low level of business confidence, as evident in the various confidence indices, but also evident in the very low growth in private sector gross fixed capital formation.”
It has been previously reported that load shedding has cost South African economy as much as R300 billion, and that continued blackout further knock the country for R80 billion a month.