JOHANNESBURG - Load shedding in South Africa has a devastating and negative impact on business and the country's economy, South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) CEO Alan Mukoki said on Friday.
"It is clear that the longer these rolling blackouts continue, the longer it is going to take for the economy to recover. We are concerned about potential job losses and business closures arising out of what appears to be an intractable problem," he said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said it was going to be a huge struggle to overcome the crisis, which he and senior Eskom officials partly blamed on a failure to maintain plants over the last five years, leaving the state utility with only 28,000 MW of electricity available against 48,000 MW of installed capacity.
At the time, Gordhan and Eskom chairman Jabu Mabuza conceded that the state company had not spent enough on maintaining its equipment over the past five years, while new plants Medupi and Kusile had not come on stream.
Both acknowledged that Eskom had not communicated its problems to the public openly enough, and Gordhan committed to providing another update in about 14 days on how the current challenges were being addressed.