The South African Chamber of Mines expressed deep concern about the load shedding proposals made by Eskom.
The announcement of stage three power shortages and the resultant load shedding will have a negative impact on the mining sector and the whole economy.
“Although the mining sector contributes only about 7% to the GDP, its non-production has a direct impact on upstream and downstream industries related to the mining sector that contribute a further 10% to the GDP. Production stoppages that are caused by continuous cuts to electricity supply will hurt the industry and the economy as whole,” says Mike Teke, president of the Chamber of Mines.
The mining industry has already reduced its electricity demand by 10% to assist Eskom as it desperately attempts to improve the electricity reserve situation and avoid a complete blackout. A request to further reduce electricity demand will have a negative impact on the performance of the mining sector as a whole.
“This is the time when all industries need to join forces with Eskom to address the electricity supply challenges that the country is facing. The mining industry is willing to engage and help find solutions to improve electricity supply. I am concerned that in the mining sector the cost of resuming production is much higher than just cutting electricity supply to a mine”.