Eskom blackouts concern Chamber of Mines

The Chamber of Mines has expressed concern that Eskom's rolling blackouts would have a negative impact on the mining sector and the economy.

"Although the mining sector contributes only about 7% to the gross domestic product, its non-production has a direct impact on upstream and downstream industries related to the mining sector that contribute a further 10% to the GDP," said the chamber's president Mike Teke today.

The mining industry was concerned about the uncertainty over the electricity supply into the week and the announcement that power cuts were planned for the weekend.

Teke said all industries needed to join forces with Eskom to address the problem.

"The mining industry is willing to engage with Eskom to find solutions that will help improve electricity supply.

"I am concerned that in the mining sector the cost of resuming production is much higher than just cutting electricity supply to a mine."

Teke said the mining industry had already reduced its electricity demand by 10%. However, a request to further reduce this would have a negative impact.

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