Business Unity SA (BUSA) is extremely concerned by the recent spate of loadshedding, which has, yet again, reached stage 6 We recognise and appreciate that good progress has been made in implementing the Energy Plan announced by the President a few weeks ago, but the economic damage of the ongoing loadshedding is severe and there must be an immediate intervention to deal with the crisis to at least manage loadshedding better. Stage 6 load shedding is a major blow to an economy that is already battling to achieve growth, because of some global headwinds, but primarily because government is still not taking the tough decisions on structural reforms and priority interventions to increase investment and stimulate growth.
BUSA has been urging government to urgently implement identified priority interventions. The second quarter’s 0.7% decline in the economy was mostly caused by the continued blackouts, which have made this year the worst on record.
The government needs to move urgently on the following:
- A short-term plan to urgently enable ESKOM to purchase power from all available resources and to step up repairs to plants.
- Fill vacancies on the ESKOM board, with relevant expertise urgently needed on the board. This will instil confidence that government is, at least, addressing this critical governance matter.
- Be more granular and detailed on exactly what is causing the current spate of loadshedding. Are there instances of sabotage? If so, what is being done about this? Are there shortcomings in management or implementation? If so, what is being done about that?
- Identify any critical shortage of technical expertise at ESKOM and fill these. The private sector has consistently indicated its willingness to assist with this, through initiatives like TAMDEV, which has a database of broad experts and is already deploying these into parts of government.
Estimations are that the current loadshedding is costing SA around R 4 billion a day! The country cannot afford this, and it is exacerbating an already strained socioeconomic situation. Small and medium businesses are experiencing severe difficulties, and many may not be able to recover from this. Also, the disruption to the day-to-day lives of ordinary citizens is severe.
Business is assisting government with the President’s Energy Plan, and we are ready to support immediate interventions to address the immediate crisis, or at least ameliorate it. We await government’s lead!
Business Unity SA CEO
BUSA Energy and Environment Manager
For more information, please contact:
Tel: 011 784 8000