Inside Eskom's War Room

2015-01-28 14:45

Cape Town – While South Africans fume at their current predicament with a shortage of electricity, elite members of the Eskom War Room meet daily to alleviate the impact of load shedding and to fast track new capacity generation through a five-point plan, according to one of the War Room’s elite.

Lionel October, director-general at dti (Department of Trade and Industry), said electricity constraint was an issue for economic growth in South Africa.

READ: Latest on load shedding

“It’s for that reason that we have been working very actively with our sister departments, especially the department of energy and the department of public works,” he told Fin24.

“We are an integral part of what we call the war room, which was established by cabinet in December last year,” he said. “We are working with the five critical departments in the war room, where we are also working actively with … business.”

“The five-point plan will hopefully reduce the impact significantly,” he said.

READ: Cabinet sets up 'war room' for Eskom

 “We are also working with industry to bring on board and fast track the co-generation and independent power producers’ programme,” he said.

“Our manufacturing sector is critical to the economy, so a proper, regular supply of electricity is essential,” he said. “We’ve been meeting with business almost every week with regard to see how we can rearrange and reduce the impact of load shedding.”

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“We’ve had a number of engagements over the past month with the business organisations and companies,” he said. “We’re expediting trying to reduce the impact of load shedding.”

He said industries that are not happy with their supply of electricity and want to engage with government should contact the dti, their business association, or Busa (Business Unity South Africa), who he says are playing an active role. “Busa have actually established a team [for this purpose],” he said.

READ: Eskom has funds for diesel up to March

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