The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) says the implementation of higher stages of load shedding is dealing a devastating blow to the country’s economy.
The Chamber’s president Mthokozisi Xulu made the remarks as Eskom continues to roll out stage six load shedding, with fears that the power utility may impose even higher rolling blackouts.
“It’s not possible to be productive with a partner like Eskom who just kicks into Stage 6 and even said we may go up to Stage 7 or 8 this week. So we are really devastated by the blow and just the sheer unreliability of Eskom which deals a blow to economic activity for today and the rest of the week,” local media quotes Xulu.
Eskom, which has struggled with adequate power provision for months, initiated the shedding as generations unit at Kusile and Kriel power stations tripped.
The utility has relied on the national level rolling blackouts for months, as electricity supply falls behind electricity demand.
Following Eskom’s announcement of the stage six load shedding, the presidency announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was scheduled to travel to New York after attending Queen Elizabeth’s burial, will instead cut his trip short and return to South Africa.
Ramaphosa was scheduled to join other world leaders for the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, but that engagement has now been cancelled.