Assessment of the Economic Costs of Electrical Power Outages in Swaziland

Electricity access has improved significantly since introduction of the National Energy Policy of 2003. However, challenges in electricity supply still exist due to the frequency of interruptions, which has resulted in harsh penalties and costs to the economy. In 2016, power outages cost Swaziland E700 million in nominal monetary terms, representing 1.67% of Swaziland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). If not addressed, the problems with the electricity sector will severely undermine the government’s effort to improve the development of the country. In essence, the benefits of increased access to the electricity grid will not be realised if power supply is as unreliable as it currently is. Considerable effort should be made to ensure that the country’s electricity supply system is stable and uninterrupted. Hence, in order to achieve this, there is need for policy attention towards improving the energy sector through investments in electricity generation using renewable energy sources, expediting the promotion of decentralised electricity generation to vulnerable areas, and setting stringent standards for the generation and distribution of electricity.