The country's economic growth is expected to be reduced to just 0.3 percent this year due to the power outages.
On Thursday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his annual State of the Nation address to Parliament from Cape Town City Hall.
On this occasion, the President declared a national "state of disaster" due to "a deep energy crisis" in the country that "has progressively evolved to affect all parts of society," Ramaphosa said.
In a state of national disaster, the government allows for emergency procurement procedures with fewer bureaucratic delays and oversight.
The South African President called for action "to lessen the impact of the crisis on farmers, small businesses, our water infrastructure, and our transport network."
A nation is defined by how its people meet the gravest of difficulties – whether they work together and confront their challenges as one, united by a common purpose, or whether they surrender to the problems before them.— Cyril Ramaphosa ���� (@CyrilRamaphosa) February 9, 2023
Homes in the dark, manufacturing activity disrupted, and most businesses affected, a picture of significant concern for the people of Africa's most industrialized country. The power outages are expected to reduce the country's economic growth to just 0.3 percent this year.
Ramaphosa said the Presidency would appoint a Minister of Electricity to address the energy crisis. The President added that the government is working on a basic income support mechanism for the most vulnerable.
Ramaphosa's Thursday speech was delayed for about 45 minutes by opposition lawmakers, mainly from the far-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party.