JOHANNESBURG – South Africa's president said Thursday the coal-dependent country will turn to more renewable energy as one way to help ease power cuts that have “severely set back” efforts to rebuild the weak economy. But he warned of more blackouts in the immediate future.
South Africans have been outraged by rolling power cuts in the current mid-summer that also have worried investors. The country relies on coal for some 77% of power needs, according to the department of energy, and some citizens were astounded when officials blamed “wet coal” in part for the blackouts.
The outages are the latest grievance in a country with 29% unemployment, widespread corruption and certain state-owned companies on the edge of collapse. The economy is estimated to grow by less than 1% this year.