Eskom has met with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and top leadership from at least 70 businesses n a Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA)-led session.
The session is part of the state power utility’s efforts to find solutions to its ailing power generation issues.
During the session Eskom CEO André de Ruyter mapped out the strategies currently in place to ensure that there is enough power supply on the grid.
“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,” de Ruyter said.
The Eskom CEO called on the business leaders to support the power utility’s electricity strategy by “pursuing opportunities to make investments and realising savings benefits from the reforms of the electricity industry” that were announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa recently.
Group CEO of the JSE, Leila Fourie, highlighted the importance of private business and government working together to make sure that the electricity crisis is addressed.
“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,” Fourie said.
According to Eskom, the session identified four areas where private business can make an impact including:
- 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
“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,” Eskom said.