“President Cyril Ramaphosa’s response to the Eskom crisis, delivered as part of the State of the Nation debate, is entirely insufficient. Nominally unbundling Eskom, without a view to privatisation and without steps to open the market to completely private, free-market electricity provision, is to keep all the South African economy’s eggs in one, state-owned basket.”
So says Piet le Roux, CEO of Sakeliga, an independent business community.
In the meantime, Sakeliga today started collecting information from its more than 12 000 members, to investigate the impact of load shedding. “This morning, 35 businesses submitted information on the cost and impact of load shedding. They indicate a combined hourly cost as a result of load shedding estimated at around R440 000, affecting the job security of more than 900 employees.”
Le Roux says President Ramaphosa’s decision to split Eskom into three state owned entities – without a view to privatisation – has little chance of changing the situation for the better. “Turnaround plans have been tried before, and none of them have worked. Cost cutting has been attempted, and the reverse happened. Ultimately, the only chance for a stable energy situation lies in radical free-market reform of the South African electricity sector.”
Businesses who wish to support Sakeliga’s campaign for a free market in electricity can send a letter to the presidency, including information about the impact of load shedding, on Sakeliga’s platform www.pickmypower.co.za.