Eskom to delay building

2008-03-04 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — All new construction projects larger than a normal home will be blocked by Eskom for the next four to six months. This will apply countrywide.

New housing complexes, filling stations, factories and all construction projects that require electricity supply from Eskom beforehand, will be delayed by up to six months.

New construction projects have to obtain electricity certificates before construction starts. Eskom will delay this process by initially not issuing any certificates.

Tito Zwane, a regional manager in charge of consumer services at Eskom, yesterday broke the news at a function held jointly with Johannesburg’s City Power for businesses.

Tony Stott, a senior manager at Eskom, later confirmed this strategy.

Mike Schussler, an economist at T-sec, said the move could severely limit economic growth. “Job creation will suffer a major blow. For example, 14 men who might have been appointed at a new filling station will now remain unemployed for longer.”

Schussler said he believes that the period of “four to six months” is only an indication and that it should rather be expected to be longer.

“It means that projects that now have to wait for six months will receive assistance only six months or more from now.”

Stott said the delay will apply to all large developments in all Eskom service areas countrywide.

Eskom will meet its obligations regarding all projects to which it has committed itself until mid-February.

“All new developments from mid-February fall under the new plan.”

Hugh McGibbon, Eskom’s distribution manager in the central region, said the message to developers is that projects should be postponed for the next four to six months.

“This includes large expansion projects at existing developments.”

In another announcement, Sapa reports that the Minerals and Energy Department said power rationing is an option under scrutiny to minimise the impact of power cuts on SA’s mines.

Deputy director-general Nelly Magubane said this option will be explored with companies first.

“We can’t ration households yet due to the metering systems. We are looking at various classes of customers. Eventually households would be included.”

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