South Africa has an electric bill coming due that’s threatening everything from its swimming pools to its sovereign debt. Consumers are asked almost daily to switch off their water heaters, pool pumps and anything else that will save power during peak periods. Industrial customers are also asked to conserve energy, even if it means reducing production. And when that’s not enough, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. orders managed blackouts. The state-owned utility can’t provide reliable electricity to run Africa’s second-largest economy. It has a long-term plan to expand generating capacity by more than 40 percent, while facing a 225 billion-rand ($20 billion) funding shortfall through 2018. The company has faced supply shortages for years and has said it may be another five years before it can guarantee the lights will always be on. “Eskom is in dire straits,” said Anne Fruhauf, southern Africa analyst at New York-based risk adviser Teneo […]