The ongoing load shedding caused by Eskom's reduced generation capacity is costing Mpumalanga between R49 and R69 million per stage per day. This gives one an idea of the extensive economic damage it has caused over the years.
In response to a question by the FF Plus, the MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Mr Vusi Mkhatshwa, corroborated calculations by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
According to these calculations, stage 4 load shedding costs between R196 and R276 million per 24-hour cycle, or between R8,2 and R11,5 million per hour.
The basis used for the calculations is the number of hours of load shedding and the national cost of load shedding (R500 to R700 million) in 2021, which is then assigned to the various stages thereof.
The estimated cost per stage per day for the provincial agricultural industry amounts to between R1,4 and R2 million, i.e., between R5,6 and R8 million during stage 4.
For the provincial mining industry, the projection is between R13 and R19 million per stage per day, i.e., between R52 and R76 million during stage 4.
Reports of ongoing load shedding are, therefore, very alarming. Thousands of job opportunities are lost every day, plunging the province as well as the country deeper and deeper into trouble.
It is unacceptable that there has been no improvement even though Eskom's problems have been well-documented over the past decade.
Appointing competent and properly trained staff is the first step to take.
Meanwhile, making use of alternative sources of power must be seriously considered to avoid higher stages of load shedding. Maintenance must also be a priority.
It remains shocking to think that for years the ANC stood idly by and looked on as Eskom collapsed.