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Urgent actions needed to deal with energy crisis, says Busa


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Urgent actions needed to deal with energy crisis, says Busa

A photo of an Eskom power plant
Photo by Bloomberg

22nd September 2022

By: Schalk Burger
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Business organisation Business Unity South Africa (Busa) is urging government to urgently implement identified priority interventions, as the economic damage of the ongoing load-shedding is “severe and there must be an immediate intervention to deal with the crisis to at least manage load-shedding better”.

Small and medium-sized businesses, in particular, are experiencing severe difficulties and many may not be able to recover from this, the organisation warns.


"Stage 6 load-shedding is a major blow to an economy that is already battling to achieve growth, owing to 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 says.

The second quarter's 0.7% contraction in gross domestic product was mainly caused by the continued blackouts, which have made this year the worst on record. Estimates are that the current load-shedding is costing South Africa around R4-billion a day, it points out.


The country cannot afford this, and it is exacerbating an already strained socioeconomic situation, Busa adds.

It says government needs to urgently implement a short-term plan to enable State-owned Eskom to buy power from all available resources and to step up repairs to plants, and to fill the vacancies on the Eskom board with relevant expertise that is urgently needed on the board.

This will instil confidence that government is, at least, addressing this critical governance matter.

The organisation is also calling for more granular detail on the exact cause of the current spate of load-shedding.

"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?" Busa asks.

Further, the organisation is urging government to 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 the Technical Assistance, Mentorship and Development database, which has already seen experts contained therein deployed into parts of government.

"We recognise and appreciate that good progress has been made in implementing the Energy Plan announced by the President a few weeks ago, but Busa is extremely concerned by the recent spate of load-shedding, which has, yet again, reached Stage 6," it said.

"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," it adds.


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