JOHANNESBURG – The mining industry has called for the government to intervene urgently to enable greater private electricity generation for own use, as Eskom’s power cuts have severely affected production.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe briefed the Cabinet on Friday to discuss proposals to stabilise the electricity supply.
Early last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Eskom had requested the government to consider some proposals such as self-generation and floating generators to alleviate pressure on the national grid. “They also proposed that we should look at self-generation to help relieve the pressure on the system as a whole,” Ramaphosa said.
Last week, the mining industry was forced to scale back production and suspend underground operations after Eskom ramped up load shedding from Stage 4 to Stage 6, cutting 6 000MW of electricity from the national grid.
The power outages also contributed to the mining industry’ 2.9 percent loss year-on-year in October as output fell for a third month in a row, throwing the sector’s contribution to the economy further into a tailspin.