SA can’t be open for business when the lights are out, says Cape Chamber

Eskom implemented stage 4 load shedding on Monday which was expected to continue until Wednesday.

Joburg business owners close up shop as Eskom implements load shedding. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the new round of frequent load shedding gives businesses and municipalities no option but to look for alternative suppliers of electricity.

Eskom implemented stage 4 load shedding on Monday which was expected to continue until Wednesday.

The chamber said the current energy crisis was hurting businesses, municipalities and Eskom, adding that businesses need electricity to survive.

Chamber president Geoff Jacobs said Eskom desperately needed to sell more power to keep going but instead found its revenue decreasing.

“The energy supply creates uncertainty for business and that has a bad knock-on effect for the economy. Businesses can’t plan [and] small businesses are at the mercy of unpredictable and uncertain energy supply.”

Jacobs said their appeal to government was to show more urgency in solving the problem.

“Government constantly says South Africa is open for business, as the chamber our big concern is that we can’t be open for business and then the lights are out. Our appeal is for government to get to the bottom of what’s going on at Eskom.”

He said load shedding would also hurt struggling municipalities which rely on electricity income to subsidise their costs and keep their distribution systems, and rate-paying commercial and industrial firms going.