The Energy Council of South Africa says government has neither the will nor a sense of urgency to address the country’s energy crisis.
On Thursday, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan ordered Eskom to get the country out of stage six blackouts, after meeting with the power utility’s Board.
The council’s chief executive officer James Mackay says government lacks the commitment to address the crisis speedily.
Mackay says, “We saw six months ago, the President came out and established the national energy crisis committee and they have come up with a number of interventions. The objectives that government has come up with are all correct but we are just not moving fast enough. We are not able to make and take action in the time frames that we are committing as a country. Load shedding is not going to end any time soon, if we can’t start making decisions and taking actions a lot quicker.”
Earlier, business owners in the Nelson Mandela Bay area in the Eastern Cape said they are concerned about Eskom’s latest round of stages five and six rolling blackouts.
Business owners in the city said they are worried about increased losses due to extended downtime.
They said the increase in operational expenses by running generators also hits their bottom lines.
One business owner says, “Regardless of what stage we are on, it has always been an issue. Most of these restaurants run big heavy equipment. With the generators, it costs R2/300 a day to maintain those throughout the day. It just causes so much more stress on the business owners.”
Another says, “Because of load shedding, some of the food items we had went to waste, and the circuit board, even now we are closed. We don’t have electricity.”
VIDEO: SACCI disappointed with Eskom’s stage 6 rolling blackouts: