BUSA to lend government a helping hand with Eskom

Business Unity South Africa has promised to support President Cyril Ramaphosa in efforts to stabilise electricity supply in the country and secure Eskom's sustainability.

In a statement on Thursday evening, the Presidency said the business body had committed to placing skills, expertise and technological interventions at the disposal of government and Eskom.

This would help reinforce action currently being taken to stabilise the power utility and secure electricity supply, the statement said.

BUSA made the commitment to Ramaphosa at a meeting in Pretoria on Wednesday, when Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan updated the business federation on the challenges facing Eskom, presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said.

Additionally, BUSA has proposed the creation of a collaborative platform where business, government and Eskom can work together on practical solutions to address short-term operational challenges facing the power utility.

Its goals are transparent communication with the business community, lending operational and technical expertise and solutions, and making human capital available to help by secondment or other means, the Presidency said. 

BUSA will engage with its members on issues, including demand management, that could help to reduce pressure on the national grid.

At the meeting, it was agreed that better coordination and communication between government and business regarding Eskom could lead to greater public and business confidence, the statement said.

Ramaphosa welcomed BUSA's initiative, the statement added.  

On Wednesday, Gordhan and Eskom executives including CEO Phakamani Hadebe and Board Chairperson Jabu Mabuza updated the country on the state of the electricity system. Eskom had developed a winter plan, according to the briefing, and would - at most - be implementing Stage 1 load shedding until August.