Picture: Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Johannesburg - Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) on Thursday assured government and President Cyril Ramaphosa of the business community's support for current efforts to stabilise electricity supply in the country and to secure the sustainability of troubled power utility Eskom. 

In a joint statement with the Presidency, BUSA said it had made a commitment to leverage its membership in order to place expertise, skills and technological interventions at the disposal of government and Eskom, to reinforce actions that are currently being implemented to stabilise Eskom and to secure the supply of electricity.

This was after BUSA met with Ramaphosa on Wednesday when Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan updated the business federation of the challenges facing Eskom and actions that were unfolding to mitigate the immediate crisis.

Wednesday’s meeting agreed that greater public and business confidence pertaining to the supply of electricity depended on improved co-ordination and communication within government around Eskom and between government and business. This applied similarly to the government’s communication with the nation at large.

The meeting welcomed the increasing frequency and depth of communication by Gordhan and Eskom chair Jabu Mabuza on the utility and called for this effort to be intensified.

Gordhan said that Eskom had put in place a plan to prevent power cuts this winter and that Eskom would not escalate load shedding to more than Stage 1 if there was pressure on the national grid.

BUSA said it viewed the revitalisation of Eskom as the single most important priority for the economy and underpins inclusive growth.

"The organisation has proposed the creation of a collaborative platform where business, government and Eskom can work together to explore practical solutions to address the short-term operational challenges facing the utility," the statement read.

"This platform will enable regular and transparent communication with the business community, lend operational and technical expertise and solutions, as well as leverage available human capital by secondment or other means."

The Presidency said Ramaphosa welcomed the initiative presented by BUSA and said the new channel for greater transparency and the sharing of information would facilitate and encourage improved co-ordination among stakeholders that would assist in the day-to-day improvement of the current situation.

BUSA said it would engage with its members on issues, including demand management, that could help to reduce pressure on the national grid.

African News Agency (ANA)