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Load-shedding expected for ‘next few weeks’

The City of Tshwane says ongoing higher levels of load-shedding have a devastating impact on its economy, particularly the SMME sector. File image.
The City of Tshwane says ongoing higher levels of load-shedding have a devastating impact on its economy, particularly the SMME sector. File image.
Image: City of Tshwane

While some generation units have been returned to service over the past few days, this is not sufficient to suspend load-shedding as other generation units had to be taken offline for repairs, says Eskom.

“Load-shedding will therefore continue being implemented at varying stages during the next few weeks while generation capacity shortages persist.

“Eskom cautions the public that it will take a few weeks for the power generation system to fully recover to pre-strike levels.

“Depending on several possibilities, including the workforce fully returning to work to conduct much needed repairs to equipment, it is anticipated load-shedding will gradually be lowered to stage 2 by the weekend.”

The power utility on Tuesday reached an agreement on the 2022 wage talks with the three recognised labour unions — the National Union of Metalworkers of SA,  National Union of Mineworkers and Solidarity — paving the way for a full return to work of all employees after a wildcat strike.

A 7% across-the-board salary increase for all employees covered in the central bargaining forum will be applied for the year starting July 1, and a R400 increase in the housing allowance. Eskom has also agreed to reinstate the conditions of service which applied during the agreement in force until end-June last year.

The overall effect of this agreement on the wage bill will be more than R1bn, said Eskom.

The City of Tshwane, joining other voices on the costly damage of heightened load-shedding, said the rollercoaster enforced power cuts at stage 6 have had a devastating impact on the metro’s economy, particularly its small-, medium- and micro enterprises sector.

The total GDP loss per hour for Gauteng is R461m, of which Tshwane loses R132.7m per hour because of load-shedding, according to André le Roux, MMC for economic development and spatial planning.

He said the metro estimated the hourly wage loss caused by load-shedding to be R15.7m in the manufacturing sector, R4.1m in the construction sector and R1.5m in the mining sector.

“The retail industry loses R8.1m every hour because it frequently lacks the luxury of implementing load-shedding mitigation measures. It is in this sector where many SMMEs are feeling the devastating impact of load-shedding, with many forced to close their doors,” the metro said.

TimesLIVE


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