Last summer, we looked at the collapse of the power grid in South Africa. The country which previously had the most economically stable and prosperous government in sub-Saharan Africa suffered waves of unemployment and looting as its economy buckled under the strain. They’ve managed to put together some foreign aid to apply patchwork fixes since then, but there are still rolling blackouts taking place on a regular basis.
This winter, however, the power grid problems are spreading in one of the more underreported stories of the year. Zimbabwe and Nigeria are now also experiencing near-total collapses of their power grids. People who still have jobs are having to work at night because that’s the only time there is stable electricity. Scheduled blackouts frequently last up to ten or even twelve hours per day, and both nations’ economies are tanking as a result.
These nations are experiencing unrest, particularly among people who claim that they have continued to pay their utility bills but have no electricity for most of the day. The AP spoke to a couple of residents in Zimbabwe who are food merchants that rely on refrigeration for their products. With no power during the day, the food spoils and they are at risk of losing their livelihoods.