POWER SUPPLY: Load Shedding On Its Way
Recent Western Cape Business News
The Cape Chamber of Commerce says it is deeply concerned around the lack of information and scenario planning from Eskom after the utility yesterday informed the Chamber about possible load shedding facing South Africans over the next few weeks.
"Eskom advised us shortly after noon that there was a possibility of load shedding in various parts of the country, including the Western Cape, from tonight and lasting through to February. While we appreciate the fact that they contacted us so we could alert our members, we are not at all happy with the lack of granular information available," comments Michael Bagraim, President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce.
According to Mr Bagraim, at the time of the call, Eskom was not able to supply information as to why load shedding was necessary other than their inability to meet demand. Nor, he says, was Eskom able to give any indication as to what management was doing to resolve the problem, or what measures were being put in place to remedy the situation in future.
"Basic scenario planning should be in place. For the country's power supply to possibly be prejudiced in this way, at this time, and this economic climate is just not acceptable," he said. "I have heard of at least one major mining operation who is unable to expand in this country due to a lack of power security and has now opted to invest heavily elsewhere. Those jobs, that revenue, that contribution to GDP is gone, and we want to know why"
Mr Bagraim went on to call on the government to get to grips with the situation and deal with it effectively or further risk the fragile local economy.
"Government keeps demanding that business increase jobs. But how can we, when we are not in a position to operate our businesses in the first place?"
In the meanwhile, Mr Bagraim urged business to once again roll up its sleeves and help the country manage its power supply.
"Even if the load shedding does not materialise as indicated, the fact that we are facing such an uncertain future calls for action. Let's all pitch in where we can. We all know the fundamentals of energy saving, let's work together to help each other out. We need to work as a collective to ride out this storm, every individual, every manager needs to make their contribution to save electricity where ever we can," Bagraim concludes.
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