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Eskom must explain Stage 4 load shedding: Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber

Mar 18, 2019
Eskom must explain Stage 4 load shedding: Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber

Port Elizabeth - The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamberon Monday said that it condemns in the strongest terms the ongoing and drastic load shedding implemented by Eskom.

Eskom implemented Stage 4 load shedding for the first time over the weekend and continued with Stage load shedding on Monday citing shortage of generating capacity.

"The parastatal has been leaving businesses and residents powerless at frequent intervals since last week, often resorting to Stage 4 load shedding shifts of four hours each," said Nomkhita Mona, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.

"The fact that Eskom deems it necessary to resort to such drastic power cuts, indicates that the country’s energy supply has reached a state of emergency. Yet there has been no transparency from Eskom around what has caused such a significant and sudden lack of capacity – or why it is taking so long to remedy the situation."

She said that in the meantime, the economy is being crippled.

"Businesses are left in the dark and unable to perform their most basic functions without electricity.

"Since many of these businesses are not equipped to generate their own electricity, owners are forced to close their doors and forfeit a large portion of their daily income – all while still contending with exorbitant tariff increases," Mona said.

"If this pattern continues, it will lead to permanent closures and job losses."

Businesses and residents subjected to an unacceptable way of life

She said that by Eskom’s hand, "we as business and residents have been subjected to a way of life that is unsustainable and unacceptable".

"As the Business Chamber, we call upon Eskom to make known the reasons behind the heavy load shedding, as well as their plans for resolving the situation as soon as possible," Mona said.

"Innovative solutions are needed to break this destructive cycle of consumers funding a dysfunctional parastatal that is unable to deliver on its primary mandate.

"We also demand that the President takes the country into his confidence about his urgent plans to resolve this crisis. The silence that has come from the Union Buildings, the Department of Public Enterprises and indeed Eskom itself, has been deafening."

Mona said that the crisis has been allowed to continue without any visible mitigation plans.

"We remain in the dark, literally and figuratively. We implore government to implement urgent measures that could save our
economy from further suffering."

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