This week 2,000 people learned that their jobs are on the line, partly because Eskom electricity tariffs are so high that ArcelorMittal cannot afford to employ them. We have even had trade union leaders objecting to Eskom tariff increases because high electricity costs have already put half the foundries in the country out of business, with the loss of thousands of jobs.

Even more serious is what has happened in the mining industry. We have plenty of gold but most of it is in deep mines where it is no longer safe to work because the electricity supply cannot be guaranteed. In addition, the geothermal heat in deep mines means they need lots of electricity to power ventilating and cooling systems, and this electricity is no longer affordable. So the gold stays in the ground, economic growth suffers and many thousands of people lose their jobs.

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