South Africa is currently facing the threat of civil war unrest due to concerns over rolling blackouts and potential total power grid failure, Express.co.uk reported on Monday.
Western embassies advise citizens to prepare for extended blackouts amidst civil war situation in South Africa
Western embassies, including those of the US and Australia, have advised their citizens to prepare for extended blackouts by stocking up on several days’ worth of food and water. And to remain on high alert during this energy crisis.
The country has been experiencing frequent power cuts lasting up to six hours, leading to a major energy crisis that has caused mass protests and civil unrest.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa issued a national “state of disaster” on February 9 with immediate effect as a result of a severe electricity shortage in the nation.
What “load shedding” in South Africa 🇿🇦 looks and sounds like: Urban Square, Century City mall, Cape Town, South Africa, 4:07 a.m., February 15, 2023. The electricity from Eskom, the state-owned power company, cuts out, and then the private generators kick in. Credit: @joelpollak pic.twitter.com/XhMYvWnMlb
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) February 15, 2023
Eskom, the state-owned power company, has been forced to implement rolling blackouts known as “load shedding,” which have occasionally lasted up to 12 hours, according to news.com.au.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) stated earlier this month:
“Rolling blackouts (load shedding) are occurring throughout South Africa which are affecting private residences, businesses, municipal lighting, traffic lights and hotels.
“Blackouts can also affect water availability, internet connectivity, mobile phone network coverage, fuel availability, residential security features, and food supply.”
DFAT warned that power outages could result in higher crime rate
The department also gave a warning that these power outages could lead to a rise in crime, saying “For example, traffic jams due to power outages provide opportunities for smash-and-grab crime.
“Residences can be targeted when lights are out and security systems are not functioning. Ongoing conditions have led to increased protests and demonstrations, and in some cases, civil unrest, throughout the country.”
Moreover, the US Embassy advised the citizens to “maintain 72-hours’ worth of supplies at home by stockpiling non-perishable food and 3 litres of drinking water per person per day, and medicines and first aid supplies.”
“Be aware of your surroundings, review your personal security plans, and inquire about a back-up power supply for your place of lodging (i.e. generators or solar-power),” they said.