'Whatever policy is in place doesn’t work': Industry loses hope as Eskom load-sheds at stage 6

Energy analysts believes a national blackout could be possible if, for instance, the current situation and the trajectory on the supply side continues. File photo.
Energy analysts believes a national blackout could be possible if, for instance, the current situation and the trajectory on the supply side continues. File photo.
Image: Bloomberg

The policies presented by layers of task teams and boards meant to solve Eskom's problems are not working.

So says SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mtho Xulu, who told Safm host Stephen Grootes that stage 6 load-shedding means many businesses cannot operate. This after stage 6 load-shedding was implemented at the weekend, with a strong likelihood of extended power outages for the week. 

“We are devastated by the blow and just the sheer unreliability of Eskom, which is a blow on the productivity of the economy,” he said.

“Nobody seems to know what is going on. Simple: whatever policy is in place doesn’t work and there is no co-ordination or any intervention because the situation doesn’t get any better,” he said.

The lack of energy security, said Xulu, is devastating to SA’s economy and erodes the confidence of citizens in government.

“It doesn’t work if you don’t have a reliable energy solution and I think now we get to a stage where we are on our own unless something drastic happens to Eskom.  

“We don’t believe there is a plan at Eskom to save it — a lot is happening, everyone seems to be doing their own thing but this economy is at the greatest risk now if nothing happens at Eskom,” he said.

The DA shadow minister of mineral resources and energy Kevin Mallison told the broadcaster a short-term solution was to ensure that the national energy crisis committee is accountable to parliament.

“Where they [committee] come and say here is what we are going to do. Here is what we are planning in doing. Report to parliament on a regular basis. Right now we have absolutely no knowledge of what they are doing — that is the starting point in the short term,” he said.

“The fastest and best thing we can do to get ourselves out of this noise is to procure a lot of very large [renewable energy] batteries for SA. Put ourselves on batteries and on rooftops and anywhere put solar, to quickly charge those batteries while it is not peak time and to unleash those batteries at peak time,” he said.

TimesLIVE


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