Sacci concerned about impact of Eskom load shedding on manufacturing

Eskom's load shedding in the light of ongoing protest and strike action by workers is impacting South Africa's economy negatively, Alan Mukoki, CEO of the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) told Fin24 on Friday.

"Our members' productivity is on the line. Everyone is already on the back foot due to the SA economy not being great," said Mukoki.   

"Load shedding means manufacturers have to stop production, while their costs are not stopping at the same time."

He said some Sacci members had indicated that they had deadlines to meet regarding export orders, which they are relying on to survive.

"They will find themselves in very serious difficulties due to an irregular power supply from Eskom," said Mukoki. "So it will have a very negative impact on SA's economic growth in an environment which is already negative."

Sacci called on Eskom's directors to "fix" the situation.

"Grandstanding by Eskom and by big labour will not help anybody. We cannot afford to lose our production pace. Government will lose out on income too in the process," said Mukoki.

"Government does not produce any money itself, and our business sector cannot sell anything to pay tax on if they cannot produce due to a lack of electricity."

Fin24 understands that Business Unity South Africa and its membership - including the Energy Intensive User Group - are monitoring the Eskom power supply situation and watching developments closely.

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