Posted on March 1, 2023

South Africa on the Verge of ‘Collapse’ as Blackouts Threaten All-Out Civil War

Antony Ashkenaz

South Africa is currently on edge of a “civil war” like unrest, amid warnings that the country could be facing rolling blackouts and the possibility of a total power grid failure. As the fears of mass rioting grow, Western embassies including the US and Australia have urged their citizens to stock up on “several days worth” of food and water, advising them to be on high alert during the extended blackouts that are sweeping the country during its energy crisis. The country has been grappling with frequent six-hour-long power cuts, creating a major energy crisis that has sparked mass protests and civil unrest.

Earlier this month, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster with immediate effect, as the country faced an acute electricity shortage.

As a result, state-owned power company Eskom has had to issue rolling blackout events known as “load shedding”, which have lasted up to 12 hours in some instances, reports.

Earlier this month, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said: “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.”

They also warned that these power outages could increase 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.”

Meanwhile, the US Embassy advised its 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.”

They said: “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).