Sunday, 31 July 2022: In its ongoing endeavours to resolve the long-running electricity crisis, Eskom met with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and top leadership from over 70 private institutions in a session led by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) on Friday, 29 July 2022. This constructive engagement forms part of Eskom’s continuous engagements with affected and interested stakeholders to find sustainable solutions to the electricity crisis.
“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,” said Eskom Group Chief Executive André de Ruyter.
Key to the confidence-building initiative is the active contribution from South Africa’s biggest companies listed in Africa’s largest stock exchange, as well as other unlisted companies servicing the South African market. 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 coordinate 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 the President.
The four areas identified where the business sector can make a practical and impactful contribution towards a sustainable electricity supply industry are:
- Opportunities to invest in own-generation projects and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) through land leasing and wheeling arrangements
- Encourage the use of electricity sparingly to safeguard the national grid through co-ordinated energy efficiency campaigns
- Provide support for security interventions to protect the electricity infrastructure from vandalism and theft
- Contribute to the development and alignment of enabling policies related to the fiscus and environmental, energy and industrial sectors
“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. We need to work together to address the energy generation challenge to the benefit of all South Africans,” said Leila Fourie, Group Chief Executive Officer of the JSE.
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. Through BLSA, a framework for delivery will be tabled with companies to ensure traction on the agreed initiatives.
The parties have committed to extending the discussions to stakeholders based in both Cape Town and Durban, where some of the large electricity users and potential electricity investors are based.