The risk of power cuts during the 2010 soccer World Cup has been averted because the global economic crisis has cut South African domestic consumption, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has claimed.
The country has been rationing power since January last year when the national grid almost collapsed, forcing economically important mines and smelters to shut for days.
A programme to increase capacity will take years to complete and there had been fears the energy shortage would affect the World Cup in June and July 2010, when 450,000 fans and tourists are expected.
But Peters said in a written parliamentary answer: “The global economic turmoil has provided additional relief in the way that electricity in South Africa has declined year-on-year.
“The result is that we have enough reserve margin to see us through the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” she said.
Peters added that various safeguards had been put in place to ensure there are no problems at the World Cup, including back-up generators at the country’s 10 tournament stadiums.