Home South African Stage 6: Business Unity SA sounds alarm bell for economy

Stage 6: Business Unity SA sounds alarm bell for economy

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The business lobby group said Stage 6 load shedding will be a serious blow to all sectors of the economy.

File picture: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg

BUSINESS Unity South Africa (Busa) has sounded the alarm bell after Eskom implemented Stage 6 load shedding on Tuesday afternoon.

The business lobby group said the severe outages will negatively impact an already ailing economy.

“The implementation of Stage 6 load shedding is a serious blow to an economy that is already struggling with low growth and a lack of decisive action on the part of government, to make the necessary interventions to attract investment and put the country on a sustainable and inclusive growth path,” Busa said in a statement.

It warned that small and medium businesses would buckle under the pressure of managing “an untenable situation”.

“We must stress that while this is a serious and negative impact on the economy, we are, unfortunately, not surprised that we have reached this crisis situation. We have been urging the government for numerous years to remove all barriers to private sector intervention in the generation of energy and power, but it is only recently that government has heeded these considerations.

“We welcome the number of embedded energy projects that have been authorised by Nersa and progress on the current bid window for renewables, but these now must be the norm rather than the exception,” Busa added.

CONCERN OVER STRIKE

The business group also expressed concern over the wage strike at Eskom.

“There are reports of intimidation of workers not participating in the strike. This must be condemned in the strongest terms if it is indeed the case. We call on unions to conduct wage negotiations through recognised channels and do so in a way that does not disrupt economic activity and cause hardship to citizens!”

Busa called on government to act decisively to counter load shedding and halt acts of sabotage against the power utility.

“We now urge government to do whatever is necessary to enable Eskom to move away from high levels of load shedding as a matter of urgency, to deal decisively with reported acts of sabotage at Eskom by enabling law and order agencies to act with urgency to bring those responsible for such sabotage to book and to remove any remaining barriers to private sector generation of power and getting renewables onto the grid as quickly as possible.

“We remain committed to working with government in providing capacity and expertise to alleviate what is now a serious crisis for citizens and the economy,” Busa concluded.

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