Home economic sector Business organisation expresses alarm over Eskom’s power cuts

Business organisation expresses alarm over Eskom’s power cuts

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The South African United Business Confederation (SAUBC) has voiced its panic over Eskom’s continued power blackouts.

File picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

THE SOUTH African United Business Confederation (SAUBC) has voiced its alarm over Eskom’s continued power blackouts.

The group said that Eskom’s inability to supply the country with reliable power harms the future economic status of the country.

In a statement, the group said rolling blackouts hurt small businesses the most, as many cannot afford fuel-powered generators for alternative sources of energy.

SAUBC president George Sebulela said: “If load shedding is just one day then it doesn’t have much impact, but if we have a week or two of load shedding then it has a significant impact on GDP.”

On Monday, Eskom warned of serious energy constraints towards the end of this year, and its forecasts suggest things will be bad from August onwards. The power utility said it was keeping up with urgent maintenance while burning expensive diesel to keep the lights on. It also said load shedding could last for up to five years.

Sebulela said continuous load shedding would lead to people losing their jobs.

“Micro and medium-sized business employers will soon be unable to afford to pay staff and more South Africans will join the masses of the unemployed,” he said.

Sebulela added that billions of rand a day are lost due to these power blackouts.

He said the loss of cellphone signals, security concerns during extended load shedding periods, and productive hours lost with commuters stuck in traffic, are other factors to be taken into account during load shedding

He said SAUBC recommends that the business community should take heed of what Eskom and the president had encouraged the private sector to do – seek an alternative option that can supply uninterrupted power.

SAUBC chairperson Sello Rasethaba added that “we strongly encourage our members to look at renewable sources and battery technology to reduce the need to shorten work hours during load shedding”.

– Business Report

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