DA says jobs in Gauteng are at risk because of the rolling blackouts experienced by businesses

The DA in Gauteng says thousands of jobs in Gauteng are at risk because of the ongoing power outages in the province.

DA spokesperson for Finance and e-Governance in Gauteng, Patrick Atkinson, said the outages had the potential of running businesses in the province down.

“Currently, stage 5 load shedding is under way, which means that some businesses will be without electricity for at least eight hours a day. This is a full workday, which means that businesses are only able to trade for a few hours at a time,” Atkinson said.

He said there were at least 2 515 000 unemployed Gauteng residents, and this number was expected to increase by the end of the year because of load shedding.

“According to some businesses the DA interacted with this week, they have lost about a third of their revenue, which is not enough for them to be profitable, over the last four days alone,” Atkinson said,

Atkinson said no electricity means no trade, which in turn means that businesses are unable to break even so that they can at least pay their employees’ salaries on time.

“If the current electricity situation continues, both big and small businesses may be forced to retrench staff in a bid to keep their heads above water.”

Atkinson said the only solution to this situation was the political will to decrease the province’s reliance on Eskom by making use of independent power producers (IPPs).

“We as the DA are proposing that Premier David Makhura and the relevant MEC engage with independent power producers in the province to help find a lasting solution.”

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