Many businesses in Gauteng are suffering major financial losses because of the latest round of rolling blackouts implemented by Eskom across the country.
Currently, stage 5 load-shedding is underway, which means that some businesses will be without electricity for at least 8 hours a day. This is a full workday, which means that businesses are only able to trade for a few hours at a time.
There are at least 2 515 000 unemployed Gauteng residents, and this number is expected to increase by the end of the year because of load-shedding.
According to some businesses the DA interacted with this week, they have lost about a third of their revenue which is not enough for them to be profitable over the last four days alone.
No electricity means no trade, which in turn means that businesses are unable to break even so that they can at least pay their employees’ salaries on time. If the current electricity situation continues, both big and small businesses may be forced to retrench staff in a bid to keep their heads above water.
The only solution to this situation is the political will to decrease the province’s reliance on Eskom by making use of Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
We as the DA are proposing that Premier David Makhura and the relevant MEC engage with independent power producers in the province to help find a lasting solution.
The Gauteng government must go against the grain as set by the failing National government and do all that it can to ensure that we save jobs and ignite new energy into the economy, by providing uninterrupted, reliable electricity to residents and businesses.