Less income for taxis

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

Taxi drivers are among small business operators whose survival is threatened by Eskom's load shedding.

The National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Buhle Mthethwa, told representatives of business and Eskom, including the power utility's chief executive, Jacob Maroga, that the taxi business is also affected by power cuts.

Mthethwa was one of about 50 representatives of organised business who attended the meeting at Business Unity of South Africa's (Busa) Sandton offices, where Eskom agreed to give "an update on power security".

South Africa's survivalist minibus taxi operators now have even less money to maintain their vehicles, because they lose time and petrol in the traffic snarl-ups caused by load shedding, Mthethwa told Maroga.

The meeting with Eskom was followed by an afternoon technical discussion to formulate an "electricity pact", which Busa members have proposed to sign with Eskom.

Busa chief executive Jerry Vilakazi said the proposed pact will include energy efficiency promoting programmes and projects focusing on demand management initiatives.

Simi Siwisa, Busa director of economic policy, said the meeting was a good example of how Busa works to unify the often divergent interests within South African business.

He said: "That we managed to get so many business representatives and Eskom's chief executive officer here shows we are succeeding. Next week, we will be meeting the presidency."

Vilakazi said: "It's the view of Busa that the current electricity challenges faced by the country demand that all stakeholders play their part to ensure that it does not result in economic paralysis. For its part, Busa will work with Eskom, government and other stakeholders to deal with this challenge."