Four ways in which load shedding slows down transformation


South Africa is, virtually, facing a power crisis, with the collapse of a silo at the Majuba Power Station, which should not have been averted with proper planning and implementation.
And to cope with the situation, Eskom has unveiled a nationwide load shedding programme, with a three hour scheduled power cuts for areas in different phases. For businesses, three hour power cuts mean stopping operations and postponing scheduled tasks. This would translate into a huge irreversible loss in man-hours, billions in rand terms.
Thus, the economic impact of the power crisis should not be underestimated. Transformation, one of the core economic objectives, is likely to be affected in the following ways:
1. Preferential procurement
Working at half capacity, a company is not likely to have an extra workload which could be outsourced to a majority black owned company.
2. Employment equity
A company might be tempted to reduce its workforce, eliminating the need for hiring employees from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
3. Skills development
Working at half capacity, cost containment not nurturing the talent might be a company’s top priority. There might not be need to commit resources towards education and training.
4. Enterprise development
A company struggling to survive as a result of reduced revenue won’t have resources to commit to developing a majority-black owned SME.

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