Western Cape finance and economic opportunity MEC David Maynier said on Wednesday that phase 2 load would cost the province’s economy about R150m a day.
“The fact is that the load shedding, announced today by Eskom, will hamper the economy in the Western Cape. The impact of load shedding is currently estimated at approximately R75 million per phase per day, for the Western Cape, ”Maynier said in a statement.
The power supplier unexpectedly announced on Wednesday that phase 2 load shedding will be introduced from 09:00 – 23:00 due to a lack of capacity.
Maynier said the Western Cape government has taken steps to mitigate the impact of load shedding on the provincial economy and build energy resilience. However, the costs remain high, especially as far as the manufacturing industry is concerned.
“We also cannot ignore the impact of load shedding, for example, households, small businesses, and agriculture, which are now forced to invest in alternative power sources to build up power outages.”
Maynier said there was also a large “unaccounted cost” due to the impact on investor confidence.
“The Department of Economic Development and Tourism has worked with Eskom, the City of Cape Town, Wesgro and GreenCape since load shedding in late 2018 and contacted businesses regarding the risk of load shedding and possible relief measures. The Western Cape is paving the way for the introduction of Solar PV, ”he added.
A total of 23 of the 25 municipalities in the province allow Solar PV to connect to the electricity network and nationally approved tariffs have been introduced. Users are thus compensated for their surplus power provided to the municipal electricity network.
“We also look forward to a positive outcome in the ongoing court case between the City of Cape Town and the Department of Energy to allow the city to purchase power directly from independent power suppliers. I remain committed to ongoing discussions with businesses to ensure energy resilience in the province so we can ‘stay open for business’ and grow the economy together and create jobs in the Western Cape. “