NEWS & ANALYSIS

Early signs of Eskom’s inability to supply electricity in 2020 are worrying – FF Plus

Party says if things carry on like this, it will inevitably weaken the entire economy

Early signs of Eskom’s inability to supply electricity in 2020 are worrying

13 January 2020

The fact that Eskom is advising municipalities to start adjusting their schedules so as to make provision for possible stage eight load shedding does not bode well for South Africa's economy and the year 2020 as regards power supply.

It is unacceptable that they are not doing more to avoid total power cuts that could last for up to 12 hours. No economy can grow while there is load shedding as it is seriously detrimental to businesses, factories and mines.

If things carry on like this, it will inevitably weaken the entire economy, which in turn will lead to a loss of job opportunities. Thus, urgent intervention is of the utmost importance.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked South Africans to be patient while Eskom gets back on the right track, but unfortunately the world economy and the high unemployment rate in South Africa are not patient.

Greater unemployment has the potential to destroy the country's economy completely.

These factors are not going to sit around and wait for years while a turn-around strategy is being implemented. Experts estimate that it could take as long as five years for Eskom to fully recover and overcome the possibility of load shedding.

The FF Plus is of the opinion that in the short term much more needs to be done to improve the current situation. Unnecessary expenses must be cut back to effectively address Eskom's debt, which currently amounts to R450 billion.

In the interim, serious thought should be given to alternative sources of power in order to prevent stage eight load shedding.

During December, Eskom performed maintenance work at various municipalities and that is indeed a step in the right direction. Now everything that can be done must be done to address the factors that lead to reduced power generation and load shedding. Maintenance should be a top priority. It remains shocking that the ANC stood idly by and watched while Eskom deteriorated.

Issued by Wouter Wessels, FF Plus MP and chief spokesperson: Public Enterprises, 13 January 2020