Africa News blog

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Flashlights or a blackout-free soccer bonanza?


South Africa’s power utility Eskom has assured the world it will keep the lights on during the FIFA World Cup next year.

But many wonder if they can trust the assurances after the country’s national grid came to a near standstill last year, forcing mines and smelters to shut and costing the biggest economy in Africa billions of dollars.

Eskom’s new power investments are not supposed to kick in until well after the cup next year, and occasional power cuts still make the headlines in the country’s media as the system continues to be tight, despite some temporary relief given the economic slowdown.

According to FIFA regulations, all stadiums will be powered using generators, but the utility still plans to secure a buffer of 2,000 MW – enough to power a city – for the duration of the event.