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Egypt to Extend Electricity Cuts to 3 Hours, Sparking Social Media Backlash

June 4, 2024
Image Credit: Unsplash

Egypt is set to extend electricity blackouts to three hours up from two hours, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy and Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources announced on 4 June in a joint statement.

Areas currently given only one-hour cuts will also be pushed up to two hours.

Reports of the decision first surfaced yesterday, eventually becoming a segment in yesterday’s episode of Al-Hekaya (The Story), a talk show by veteran host Amr Adib.

“My question here is to the Egyptian people: Are you satisfied with the performance of the current Cabinet?” Adib said live, questioning the efforts of the ministers.

The Egyptian Cabinet submitted their collective resignation to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on 3 June following two years of economic struggles and a foreign currency crisis.

“Since 2018 until today, have we seen positive changes to our challenges…Let’s find [other ministers] who can provide these changes, rather than cutting electricity as a solution,” Adib added.

The decision comes during an ongoing heat wave across the country, with temperatures peaking at 40 degrees Celsius in Cairo this week.

While it remains unclear whether all governorates are expected to experience prolonged power cuts, Egyptians expressed indignation on social media in response to the news.

“No one is satisfied, surely Egypt has a lot of economic experts that know how to run the country,” commented one user below Adib’s segment published on Facebook.

Other citizens highlighted the government’s plan to hike electricity prices, questioning the need to extend blackouts.

“When electricity prices are expected to increase in June, why are cuts also extending to 3 hours, this is unfair,” a user tweeted.

President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi explained during a presidential conference – prior to the new decision – that the continuation of power cuts is to ensure that electricity costs remain unchanged despite macroeconomic challenges.

In January 2024, the government announced a 7 to 20 percent increase in electricity prices. The Cabinet is set to convene by the end of the year to decide on a second hike.

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