Eskom has recently escalated load-shedding to stage 4, meaning longer and more regular blackouts. Businesses are feeling the impact as trading hours are shortened and staff are unproductive. The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) said that load shedding is a significant risk to economic recovery. Retailers have been forced to invest in expensive alternative power sources just to keep their doors open.
As reported by News24, the CGCSA comments:
This is resulting in incalculable losses in revenue which, if the situation continues, could put jobs at risk.
Unless the power system is restored to normality, the frequency and impact of load shedding will worsen further as the country heads into the winter season during which power demand is always high
Eskom has failed to address the recent problems despite promising solutions over and over again. Having no electricity affects each and every South African and the country deserves the truth.
The general uncertainty and forced speculation sends mixed messages to the man on the street. With talks of stage 5 and 6, all the way to stage 8, no one really knows where this is going. More importantly, can and will this be resolved?
Because Eskom is central to the economic growth of South Africa, underpinned by further domestic and foreign investment, any further delays to resolve its structural, operational and financial problems will cause further harm to a fragile economy which has hardly grown during the past five years.
The country needs to see a decent plan in place with step-by-step processes explaining the way forward. All business owners need this information in order to make the necessary adjustments and put plans in place to prevent losses.
Consumers will also need to make necessary arrangements when it comes to transport, meal times, working hours and other home adjustments. These could increase monthly living costs and cause consumers to opt for additional debt.