Durban chamber wants eThekwini to diversify its electricity sources to limit the impact of load shedding
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DURBAN - The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called on the eThekwini municipality to diversify its energy sources in order to mitigate against load shedding.
The chamber is concerned about the impact of load shedding, which has been brutal this year, on businesses.
The call from the chamber came as the power utility said Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 4pm today until 5am tomorrow as power constraints persist.
“There is an urgent need for eThekwini Municipality to fast track procurement of power from IPPs (independent power producers) as this will diversify our energy generation and mitigate the risk of load shedding,” said chamber chief executive Palesa Phili.
Phili said the total cost of load shedding to South Africa’s economy in 2019 was between R59 billion and R118 billion, this was according to a presentation by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
“As the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry NPC we are very concerned following Eskom’s recent Stage 4 load shedding rollout, this will truly cripple, if not destroy, the KZN business community and thus the economy,” she said.
She said the business community was still struggling with the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have seen too many businesses close their doors, but just when we thought we were starting to recover and adjust to our “new normal” in July, we suffered yet another catastrophic event; through the unrest which saw many businesses up in flames, many of which have not recovered,ʺ she said.
Phili said load shedding was first implemented seven years ago, and through the past years they have seen the negative impact getting worse and worse, across all industries.
“Most businesses use electricity for production and without power business cannot continue. The loss of productivity means loss of profit, load shedding has a direct impact on livelihoods because less business production, translates to less employees required in that business, resulting in job loss,” she said.