DURBAN – South Africa's rotational blackouts are placing the country's prospects of economic recovery under severe pressure and weighing heavily on businesses, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) has said.
"We have received many complaints from businesses in the retail and other manufacturing sectors not being able to fulfil production schedules on sales orders during this critical period. The government’s promised plans in revitalising the economy by building infrastructure and driving policies for industrialisation will now come into question, as energy is the biggest enabler for any of these plans to come to fruition," said SACCI chief executive Alan Mukoki on Tuesday.
Power utility Eskom took the unprecedented step of moving the country to stage 6 rolling blackouts - known as loadshedding – with scant warning on Monday, following a period of Stage 2 and 4 blackouts.
The load shedding had a negative effect on job creation and growth, said Mukoki.
"The current challenges are weighing heavily in the business cycle. This has also caused some mines to shut down operations. Some of the telecoms companies have reportedly had their revenues put under extreme pressure due to lack of connectivity as a result of lack of power in the telecoms towers."