Business acts to solve electricity problem – Cape Chamber

Geoff Jacobs says issue can't be left in Eskom's hands

Business acts to solve the electricity problem

9 April 2019

Business is taking the initiative to bring together the Province, the City, Green Cape, industry experts and energy users to develop a response to the electricity crisis at a special summit in Cape Town next week.

This follows the devastating losses suffered by business during the recent period of extreme load shedding.

We can’t leave the problem to Eskom and have no option but to act in the interests of the people of the Western Cape,” said Mr Geoff Jacobs, President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “We have convened this summit because we are all in this together and we have to find ways to emerge from the crisis with new hope for energy security and economic growth.”

He hoped those attending the summit would also realise that the present management of Eskom had inherited the problem and they needed help. “Eskom has now become a burning platform which requires cool heads, strong leadership and the best innovative minds in the world to get us out of this crisis.

The summit will be about understanding the range of problems and finding solutions rather than apportioning blame,” Mr Jacobs said. “Eskom is welcome and we will leave it to the courts to deal with the culprits who have brought this crisis upon the nation.”

With Eskom taking part in the summit they would be able to provide a vital insight into local problems as the situation was different in the Cape. “We have Koeberg which has proved to be a reliable power station as well as two pump storage schemes to provide back-up.

The Western Cape has developed a different approach to the long-term problems and has taken the lead in promoting the green economy and renewable energy. Cape Town, for instance, was the first city in the country to encourage roof-top solar panels and that gives us all a chance to be part of the solution,” Mr Jacobs said.

Business was taking up the challenge to develop the renewable energy sector and this could be a boost for the local economy and would create many jobs.

The Summit will be opened by the Premier of the Western Cape, Ms Helen Zille. The list of impressive speakers will include a wide range of technical and economic experts who will analyse the crisis while leaders in the energy industry will outline possible solutions.The Summit takes place on Monday, April 15, at the River Club in Mowbray. For further information contact Denise at the Cape Chamber on 021 402 4300 or email[email protected].

Issued by Dean Le Grange, Media and Digital Co-ordinator, Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 9 April 2019