CONSUMER GOODS COUNCIL OF SOUTH AFRICA (CGCSA) SAYS ESKOM LOAD SHEDDING HAS BECOME A SIGNIFICANT RISK TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY

The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) is concerned about the devastating impact load shedding is having on its members and businesses in general as well on the lives of people. Load shedding, which has now been escalated to Stage 4, is posing a significant risk to economic recovery.

CGCSA members, particularly retailers and those who trade in perishable goods have been forced to invest in expensive alternative power supplies to ensure business continuity; yet others have had to stop trading during the periods when there is no power. This is resulting in incalculable losses in revenue which if the situation continues could put jobs at risk.

CGCSA is concerned that despite numerous interventions promised or underway at Eskom, the state of the power system remains unstable and unreliable. Unless the power system is restored to normality, the frequency and impact of load shedding will worsen further as the country heads into the winter season during which power demand is always high.

Because Eskom is central to the economic growth of South Africa underpinned by further domestic and foreign investment, any further delays to resolve its structural, operational and financial problems will cause further harm to a fragile economy which has hardly grown during the past five years. The government should send a clear message of reassurance about its intentions to address the problems facing Eskom and also fast-track any interventions needed to restore generation capacity at Eskom.

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