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End of load shedding in sight, relief for business owners

Matla Power Station in Mpumalanga Province. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Matla Power Station in Mpumalanga Province. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Published Jul 19, 2022

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Johannesburg – Eskom has made an undertaking that load shedding will cease by the end of the week. This comes as more generation units are set to be back online.

“Towards the end of the coming week, we should emerge from load shedding. We’ve already lifted our indication for load shedding going forward. We’ve got a couple of big units returning, so that’s positive news,” said Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter.

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The intermittent power cuts have blighted the country for the better part of the past two months. The country was subject to stage 6 load shedding for almost two weeks.

During stage 6 load shedding the country was faced with power cuts more than twice a day for periods ranging from two to four hours daily.

Load shedding has had a negative impact on the economy. Large and small businesses have been severely impacted due to the unreliable power supply.

It is estimated that the power cuts cost the country over R400 000 000 daily in lost productivity.

IOL spoke to some business owners and although some are happy with the news, there has been scepticism from others.

Nkosinathi Mkhize who manages a fast food outlet in Marshalltown downtown Joburg is relieved at the news of the possible cessation of load shedding.

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He said: “Load shedding by Eskom has affected us a lot because the stock in the fridges was going bad and when the stock goes bad it’s a very difficult situation because it costs us money.”

“So the news that there will be no more power cuts starting from Friday would really be good for us.”

However, Mkhize was not sure if Eskom would deliver on their promise.

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“We do not know for sure, we’ll wait and see if there are really no power cuts or if they are just saving face.”

Property development entrepreneur Rapula Kobane was more optimistic about the prospect of the lights staying on.

“It’s been a challenging few weeks for myself and my staff. I work in an industry where deadlines are everything so the power outages have affected my timelines drastically,”

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“If the load shedding stops as promised, it will also save us some money because it cost money to buy fuel to keep a generator running all the time on site,” Kobane said.

Entrepreneurs will receive much-needed relief as a result of the lights staying on. Many have suffered immeasurable losses from the lack of productivity.

De Ruyter has stressed that although the increased generation capacity would significantly diminish the possibility of power cuts, it was still important to add more capacity to the system.

“But ultimately to put load shedding to bed, what we need is the additional capacity because the system as it is at the moment, is still unreliable and unpredictable,” De Ruyter said.

IOL Business

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