|In South Africa, a recent increase in regular power cuts has seen a large numbers of online gamblers purchase back-up power systems so that they may exit play in a controlled manner without losing the fruits of their labour.|
Extensive areas of the country including Cape Town and Johannesburg have seen an increase in the frequency of power cuts recently with national supplier Eskom warning that the situation could remain critical for the next week.
Eskom announced that the cuts are down to unexpected demand for electricity along with problems at seven power stations including a partial shutdown at the Koeberg nuclear plant near Cape Town due to the failure of a turbine. Consumers have been warned that they could be in the dark for as long as two hours a day thanks to ‘load shedding’.
Eskom has been accused of a lack of advance capacity planning and maintenance that could endanger the further development of the economy. A senior company executive last week extraordinarily suggested that attempts to attract industrial investment be minimised until 2013 to enable capacity building to catch up.
Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin stated that there would be an investigation into the causes but that he is confident South Africa as a whole will not be plunged into darkness. People have been asked to turn off non-essential equipment such as air-conditioning units and swimming pool pumps.