For the past 16 years South Africans have dreaded rolling power cuts euphemistically dubbed “loadshedding”. These are caused by the ailing state power entity Eskom’s crumbling infrastructure and its over-reliance on ageing and poorly maintained coal-fired power stations. Loadshedding has worsened in 2023, with some areas experiencing power cuts for up to 10 hours a day.
This crisis affects every aspect of the country’s economy, including its vibrant tourism sector. Tourism is a vital contributor to the South African economy. In 2019 the country welcomed over 10 million foreign visitors. The sector contributed up to 6.4% of the gross domestic product along with 1.5 million jobs (9.3% of total jobs).