|SACCI - ESKOM DIALOGUE|
|Friday, 13 November 2009 12:19|
Yesterday members of the South African Chamber of Commerce of Industry engaged in a stakeholder dialogue with Eskom at the SACCI Offices. For business, the security of a sustainable electricity supply has to be balanced against the cost pressures that the proposed price increases will bring at a vulnerable stage in the economic cycle.
The stakeholder meeting was part of a three-pronged approach adopted by SACCI to addressing the electricity challenge. This included engaging the Minister of Public Enterprises, meeting with the Eskom senior management and establishing a working group to evaluate alternate approaches to addressing the electricity supply challenge. The Electricity Working Group, established under the auspices of SACCI’s Infrastructure Committee, would also serve as a “business sounding board” to Eskom senior management.
Eskom senior management addressed SACCI members on the background and motivation for their request for an increase of 45% in tariffs each year over the next three years. During a robust debate, the meeting probed the Eskom proposal and explored a number of alternatives and possibilities, considering the pros and cons of each. One of the key outcomes was agreement reached on the need to reach out to small and medium sized enterprises, particularly with regard to the Eskom build programme. On this issue, Eskom agreed to participate in a workshop aimed at empowering SMEs to assist them to identify and prepare tender applications appropriate to their skills and services.
The meeting did not invest in discussion on the leadership changes experienced at Eskom. SACCI’s view is that these matters should be resolved as expeditiously as possible so as not to detract from the issue of primary concern to business i.e. the provision of sustainable electricity supply at a cost that is affordable to business over time.
Neren Rau SACCI CEO 011-4463800