LETTER: Gauteng needs to wean itself off Eskom
The provincial government has to start looking to use independent power producers to keep the economy turning
Eskom’s latest round of load-shedding will have a huge negative impact on the Gauteng economy. Many businesses, particularly small ones, aren’t able to afford the cost of buying a generator to ensure they can operate during the time they have no power.
Gauteng economic development MEC Parks Tau revealed recently that about 122,500 jobs were lost in 2021 due to load-shedding. With load-shedding continuing and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan saying it could reach level 8, the prognosis for job creation is not good over the next year.
In all likelihood, those thrown out of work due to due to the continuing constraints on the electricity supply will continue to grow. This is very worrying as it means that when the next Labour Force Quarterly Survey is released we can expect an even higher unemployment rate for Gauteng.
To improve productivity the provincial government needs to start looking to use independent power producers so the province can become less reliant on Eskom. This is the only way we can ensure that the wheels of our economy continue turning despite the problems with the state-owned entity.
Patrick Atkinson, MPL
DA Gauteng finance spokesperson
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