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Eskom Begins Rolling Blackouts in South Africa Amid Power Crunch

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June 17 (Bloomberg) -- Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. said it began planned power outages in South Africa because of a “severely constrained” electricity system.

The rolling blackouts began at 5:12 p.m. and were set to last until 7 p.m., the Johannesburg-based utility said in an e-mailed statement today.

Eskom has struggled to satisfy demand for power in Africa’s second-biggest economy in the past decade. A lack of working generating capacity forced the utility to schedule blackouts for the first time in six years in March to prevent the collapse of the grid.

Eskom called on users to cut power usage, particularly in the peak period of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. during winter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andre Janse van Vuuren in Johannesburg at ajansevanvuu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net Nasreen Seria, John Bowker