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'Big losses' for manufacturing industry amid load shedding

The minister was speaking on Monday at an announcement of a R12 million investment in TV manufacturing in the area of Atlantis by Hisense electronics company.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies visiting the Hisense Atlantis factory on 18 March 2019. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says load shedding is having a negative impact on the manufacturing industry and future investments, but that government is working on the issues.

Davies was speaking on Monday at an announcement of a R12 million investment in TV manufacturing in the area of Atlantis by Hisense electronics company.

In a perfectly timed moment of irony, the lights went out during the minister’s visit.

At the factory in Atlantis, more than 3,800 appliances are manufactured daily. However, when load shedding occurs, the machines are switched off and production stops. Staff members put down their tools and get redirected to training.

Mark Dammert of Hisense said: “That has a domino effect, for example, if we promised to pay a particular retailer, we are not paying. You promise to have ready 10,000 fridges but you only have 5,000. There are penalties. So, there are big losses when it comes to load shedding.”

Davis said his department was concerned about the impact on businesses. He added that government was working on addressing the issue.

“When we have interruptions like this, whatever the cause may be, we know that there will be a cost. We are talking to the team here to see if there’s anything we can support them with to try to get out of these problems.”

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