The on-going energy crisis in the country has led to the Buffalo City Metro clamping down on high energy users.
The Metro has called for industries such as factories, automotive and the manufacturing sector, to reduce by at least 20% electricity usage per day. This is only applicable when blackouts above stage four has been implemented.
The Metro says it had no option but to take the step of reducing high power usage. Industries affected include the automotive sector which is seen as the backbone of the province’s economy.
The Metro’s spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya says as a solution to the crisis, they are looking at alternative sources of energy, to reduce the pressure on the grid.
“What we’re doing, we are trying our best to mitigate the situation under the circumstances. Our main role is to make sure that big business and industry are able to stay afloat. Secondly we are able to make sure that we keep the lights on for the entire city hence the 20% shedding we are expecting from big industry. We now started the process of curtailment.”
This move has had dire effects on the business community and could possibly lead to job losses.
The local currency has also suffered due to the on-going electricity cuts.
The local currency has been edging closer to the R18 mark against the US dollar. The last time it was at that level was in May 2020.
Rand under pressure due to rolling blackouts:
Currently the Eastern Cape’s unemployment rate stands at a staggering 42.8%.
Premier Oscar Mabuyane says they are doing everything to avoid the situation from worsening.
“Immediately Mercedes Benz stop functioning properly the issues of inefficiency come in and that will be followed by huge challenges of retrenchments and we don’t want that situation. We need that to drive the industrialization. We can’t collapse what we have, we will do everything in our power and explore every avenue.”
The CEO of Border Kei Chamber, Lizelle Maurice says the move by the Metro could turn away prospective investors.
“It increases the wage bill as staff have to work after hours and this will also impact on future investments and the attraction of future investments into our country. So all in all, load shedding is costing our country billions.”
As the situation worsens throughout the country, industries and households have been urged to use power sparingly.