Eskom, business meet to discuss solutions to electricity crisis
A meeting between Eskom and big business on Friday identified a number of areas where the business sector can make a practical and impactful contribution towards a sustainable electricity supply industry.
These include opportunities to invest in own-generation projects and independent power producers (IPPs) through land leasing and wheeling arrangements and encouraging the use of electricity sparingly to safeguard the national grid through co-ordinated energy efficiency campaigns.
Other areas identified for business include providing support for security interventions to protect the electricity infrastructure from vandalism and theft.
In a statement on Sunday, Eskom said in its ongoing endeavours to resolve the long-running electricity crisis, the power utility met CEOs and top leadership from over 70 private institutions in a session led by the JSE and Business Leadership SA (BLSA) on Friday.
“The purpose of the discussions was to identify initiatives where the parties can collaborate and plant the seeds of opportunity to leverage private sector investment capacity and harvest the low-hanging fruit in the electricity industry,” Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said.
During the session, De Ruyter shared Eskom's strategy to address the security of power supply through increasing capacity and reducing demand.
He called on the captains of the top companies and large electricity users to co-ordinate efforts towards supporting the strategy by pursuing opportunities to make investments and realising savings benefits from the reforms of the electricity industry as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.
“We are at a very important inflection point as a country and today we took the opportunity to unpack some of the proposed solutions for business-to-business partnerships in the generation of electricity.
“President Ramaphosa's plan literally opens the door for investors and entrepreneurs to provide solutions that can have many other indirect and positive consequences for our country, especially when it comes to creating jobs,” said Leila Fourie, Group CEO of the JSE.
Eskom said during a robust question-and-answer session, company CEOs expressed their appreciation of Eskom's transparency on the key issues, offered practical solutions to unlock generation capacity and pledged their support of the public utility's plan in partnership with the relevant government role players.
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