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Eskom planned power cuts to hit South Africa Q1 GDP growth -Goldman Sachs

LONDON (Reuters) - Severe planned power cuts - termed "load-shedding" - at South Africa's state-run utility Eskom are expected to shave 0.3 percentage points off first-quarter GDP growth, Goldman Sachs said on Thursday.

The continent's most industrialised economy has suffered from some of the worst power cuts in several years and a major challenge for President Cyril Ramaphosa two months before an election at which he will try to reverse a decline in voter support for the African National Congress (ANC).

"If the current intensity of load-shedding were to persist in 2019, it could subtract up to 0.9 percentage points from annual growth," Goldman analysts wrote in a note to clients.

Eskom supplies more than 90 percent of the power in South Africa but has suffered repeated faults at its coal-fired power stations, along with low water levels at hydroelectric plants and diesel shortages.

(Reporting by Karin Strohecker, Editing by Helen Reid)

2019-03-21 12:37:44

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