Today's Labour News

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eskomBusiness Report writes that on Tuesday Eskom extended its massive power cuts, leaving industry stuttering as the power utility cut 3,000MW from the grid.  

Eskom anticipates that its load shedding will continue into the second quarter in April.  Analysts warned that the continuing power cuts would undermine unemployment, which improved marginally from 27.5% to 27.1% in the fourth quarter of 2018.  Statistics SA reported on Tuesday that the mining and manufacturing industries, which are among the country’s largest consumers of electricity, added a combined 79,000 jobs in the fourth quarter, while finance and other business services added 109,000.  But, Harmony Gold pointed to Eskom as the biggest threat to the survival of the industry in SA, saying that Eskom’s proposed 15% annual tariff hike over the next three years could shorten the lives of energy-consuming mines and place jobs at risk.  CE Peter Steenkamp pointed out that Harmony’s Kusasalethu and Moab Khotsong mines were particularly at risk and said the tariff increases “will change the life of our mines and impact on jobs.”  On Tuesday, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said:  “These outages have a massive impact on the economy – from mining, big industries, manufacturing to small businesses like coffee shops.  It also causes huge frustration, uncertainty, vulnerability and fear among communities and households.”  Econometrix chief economist Azar Jammine reckoned that the direct impact of load shedding on the economy was between 0.1% and 0.2% of the gross domestic product a week.

  • Read the original of this report by Kabelo Khumalo and Dineo Faku in full at Business Report
  • Read too, DRDGold calls “the once mighty Eskom” its “single biggest risk”, at Miningmx

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page