Eskom resumes blackouts after plant breakdowns

South Africa’s state-owned power utility said it will resume power cuts on Tuesday afternoon after multiple plant breakdowns.

Eskom will cut 2,000 megawatts from the grid after 10 generation units at seven power stations broke down in the past 48 hours. Power rationing, known locally as loadshedding, will begin from 12 pm until later in the evening, the utility said.

“Any further deterioration in the generation performance may necessitate the escalation of load shedding at short notice,” Eskom said. “As the aged generation infrastructure is unreliable and volatile, the constrained power system is expected to persist for the rest of the week.”

Debilitating electricity outages are clouding the outlook for Africa’s most industrialised economy, which is forecast to contract 7.2% this year. Eskom, which is saddled with huge debt, has cut power this year the most since at least 2007, when it began struggling to meet demand, according to a report by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, a state institution.