Findings concerning constraints on business growth in H1 2023 reflect a fairly positive picture. With the exception of the constraint of reduced demand and the availability of skilled workers, the proportion of businesses identifying other limitations to business growth has fallen. One might have expected the opposite outcome in line with declining economic growth.


As expected, energy costs are the top concern amongst mid-market businesses in South Africa in H1 2023. The latter part of 2022 was accompanied by a fairly dramatic increase in the number of hours of electricity outages, commonly known as load-shedding.

This created massive disruptions both for the everyday lifestyles of consumers and, more importantly, for businesses, especially smaller ones.

The first half of 2023 was also characterised by a substantial number of hours of load-shedding, but towards the end of May through June, the intensity of load-shedding surprisingly diminished. Whereas for much of the year, there seemed to be many days in which there were shutdowns of up to six and eight hours on the back of a shortage of electricity of over 6000 MW, this fell to levels of outages of no more than two to six hours associated with electricity shortages of less than 4000 MW. This favourable development was somewhat surprising given that the demand for electricity was expected to increase steeply as winter approached and its use for heating increased.




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