Southern African power crisis worsens

Hundreds of tourists were stranded on Cape Town's famed Table Mountain and blackouts swept across Zimbabwe and Zambia, agencies reported, as an energy crisis deepened in regional powerhouse South Africa.

On Monday night, reports said, nearly 900 local and foreign tourists were stranded on South Africa’s Table Mountain for more than five hours, with nearly 100 having to be freed from two cable cars frozen in mid-air.

South Africa’s power utility Eskom, which has come under considerable domestic criticism, shut down power exports to neighbouring Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia earlier this week. Zimbabwe’s phone network, traffic lights and commuter trains were reportedly put out of action by a blackout on Monday.

The power shortages may cast a shadow over South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 football World Cup, reports said.

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