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South Africa may get $1 billion loan from World Bank to tackle power crisis

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Reuters or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: The World Bank is negotiating a potential $1 billion loan intended for South Africa to aid the country in restructuring its energy sector
• This development comes in the wake of severe power cuts that have debilitated the South African economy, marking it as the country’s most severe power crisis to date

🔭 The context: The power crisis is caused mainly due to the frequent malfunctioning of Eskom's, the state-owned power company that generated 95% of the nation’s electricity, old coal-fired plants
• These power outages have not only hampered economic growth but have also promoted private sector investments in renewable energy
• In February, the South African government committed to absorbing over 254 billion rand ($13.4 billion) of Eskom's debt, contingent on specific terms

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The move to secure this loan signals a broader effort to shift away from coal and reduce carbon emissions, transforming it from a mere economic imperative for South Africa to an environmental one with global implications
• With private investments flowing into renewable energy due to Eskom's issues, the landscape of energy generation in South Africa is poised for a sustainable transformation
• A successful transition in such a coal-reliant country can be a beacon for similar transformations worldwide

⏭️ What's next: While the exact timeframe for the loan's approval remains unspecified, it's anticipated to materialize soon
• This funding is expected to support crucial reforms and aid South Africa in transitioning away from coal-based energy while safeguarding vulnerable communities from adverse impacts

💬 One quote: "It's a policy development loan which supports critical reforms. There's a particular focus on transmission, because it is a stumbling block in terms of bringing new (capacity) that is going to be built mainly by the private sector," (Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank's director for South Africa)

📈 One stat: In November 2022, the World Bank approved a $497 million financing package to dismantle and repurpose one of Eskom's coal-fired power stations

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