Stage 2 load shedding announced by Eskom on Wednesday will cost the Western Cape economy R150 million per day, according to finance and economic opportunities MEC David Maynier. FILE PHOTO: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

CAPE TOWN  - Stage 2 load shedding announced by Eskom on Wednesday would cost the Western Cape economy R150 million per day, according to the province's finance and economic opportunities MEC David Maynier.

“The fact is that the load shedding announced by Eskom today will damage the economy in the Western Cape. The impact of load shedding is currently estimated to be R75 million per stage, per day, for the Western Cape,” he said via a statement.

The power utility announced that stage 2 load shedding would be implemented from 9am to 11pm due to a shortage of capacity.

Maynier said the Western Cape government had taken a number of actions to mitigate the impact of load shedding on the provincial economy and build energy resilience. Despite this, the cost remained high, particularly for manufacturing.

“We also can’t ignore the impact of load shedding on households, small businesses and agriculture, for example, which are forced to invest in alternative powers sources to build their resilience against energy failures.

“Furthermore, there is a large ‘uncounted cost’ of load shedding owing to the impact on market confidence,” he added.

Since the recurrence of load shedding in late 2018, the department of economic development and tourism had been working with Eskom, City of Cape Town, Wesgro and GreenCape, and engaging with businesses, around the risk of load shedding and potential mitigation measures, said Maynier. 

The Western Cape had led the way with regards to the implementation of Solar PV, he added. 

Of the 25 municipalities in the province, 23 allowed rooftop Solar PV to connect to the electricity grid and had nationally approved tariffs in place, which allowed users to be compensated for feeding their surplus power back into the municipal electricity grid. 

“Furthermore, we look forward to a positive outcome on the ongoing court action between the City of Cape Town against the department of energy to allow the city to buy power directly from independent power providers. 

“I am committed to continued engagements with businesses to ensure energy resilience in the province so that we remain ‘open for business’, and together grow the economy and create jobs in the Western Cape,” said Maynier.

- African News Agency (ANA)