Revealed: SA is creating much less electricity than in previous years_1

StatsSA have released their findings on how much electricity South Africa has been using in the past calendar year. The picture isn’t great, and mirrors the glum performance we’ve seen in the manufacturing industry. We’ve crunched the numbers to explain where we are at:

How much electricity is South Africa producing?


Electricity generation (production) decreased by 4.0% year-on-year in December 2019. Total electricity generation was 1.5% lower in 2019 compared with 2018. The 1.5% decrease in annual electricity production followed increases of 0.4% in 2018, and 0.9% in 2017.


Seasonally adjusted electricity generation decreased by 1.6% in December 2019 compared with November 2019. This followed month-on-month changes of -1.1% in November 2019 and -1.1% in October 2019. Furthermore, electricity generation decreased by 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared with the third quarter of 2019.

Distribution is less than it was last year


Meanwhile, electricity distribution (consumption) decreased by 4.9% year-on-year in December 2019. Total electricity distribution was 1.9% lower in 2019 compared with 2018. The 1.9% decrease in annual electricity distribution followed increases of 0.9% in 2018 and 0.5% in 2017.


Seasonally adjusted electricity distribution decreased by 1.3% month-on-month in December 2019, following month-on-month changes of -1.6% in November 2019 and -0.6% in October 2019. From there, electricity distribution decreased by 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared with the third quarter of 2019.


#Electricity generation in South Africa dropped by 1,5% in 2019 compared with 2018. This followed increases of 0,4% in 2018 and 0,9% in 2017.Read more here: https://t.co/ngGHpRmRMl#StatsSA pic.twitter.com/3mj8UeqZ2t— Stats SA (@StatsSA) February 6, 2020

Manufacturing stats also take a knock


The utilisation of production capacity by large manufacturers was 81.0% in November 2019, dropping down by two percentage points from 83.0% in November 2018. The industry was hampered by interruptions to the electricity supply. Last year, the utilisation of production capacity was 80.9% – a drop of half-a-percentage point from 81.4% in 2018.


Eight of the ten manufacturing divisions showed decreases in utilisation of production capacity in November 2019 compared with November 2018. The largest decreases were recorded in the following areas:

Petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products (-4.1%).Glass and non-metallic mineral products (-3.9%).Motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment (-3.7%).Furniture and ‘other’ manufacturing (-3,2%).Basic iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery (-2,6%).Radio, television and communication apparatus and professional equipment (-2,5%).