File image: IOL
File image: IOL
File image: IOL
File image: IOL
File image: IOL
File image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The economy is strongly supported by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the National Development Plan (NDP) echoes this sentiment by estimating SMEs to provide 90% of the approximated 11 million jobs by 2030. 

NDP seeks to have 95% of new jobs created by SMEs by 2030 #EOYSA2016

This realisation will however only be achieved by reliable and uninterrupted power supply, says Eskom. 

“It, in fact, goes without saying that the economy in general and small businesses, in particular, cannot grow and ultimately create much-needed employment without reliable and uninterrupted power supply", said Eskom’s Senior Manager for Energy Trading, Mpumelelo Mnyani. 

Mnyani addressed the challenges of the economy as well as the estimated job pool of 11 million at the Small Business Expo which took place from 31 August to 2 September. 

READ ALSO: My Business Expo and Business StartUp Show creates opportunities for African business

He went on to say that lack of demand for products and services, depressed economic growth, harsh labour regulations as well as limited access to funds are among the trials which small businesses face. 

According to Operation Khanyisa, a program launched in 2010 with the aim to combat electricity theft, 19 760 tip offs have been received since October 2010 to report electricity theft of which 120 arrests have been made. 

Operation Khanyisa declares electricity to be the third most stolen commodity, following credit card information and vehicles. 

Notably, Mnyani noted that 39% of electricity lost is in the business sector which cost businesses millions of rands. 

For example, a shopping mall's electricity that is tampered with on several occasions during a period of six months, has a recovery of more than R1 million realised, said Mnyani. 

READ ALSO: Electricity theft tip-offs on the rise: Eskom

“Tampering with your electricity supply is, therefore, not a sound business decision as in addition to paying cost to have your meter manipulated you will also be held liable for tamper fines, which could be as high as R100 000; payment of lost revenue as a result of the manipulation; increased securities as well as the risk of criminal prosecution, which could lead to up to 30 years imprisonment,” Mnyani warned

“In a developing country such as ours where unemployment levels are high, and where SMEs are said to have the potential to contribute 90% of all employment by 2030, entrepreneurship should be encouraged and small business supported - not brought to their knees owing to electricity theft. We continue to urge people to keep on reporting electricity theft anonymously to Crime Line at 32211 (R1/ SMS)", said Mnyani.