04 June 2015 Volume :3 Issue :27

Business Breakfast Advises businesses to Function Despite Load Shedding

Business Breakfast Advises businesses to Function Despite Load Shedding
UKZN’s Energy Management Consultant, Mr Greg Diana; Chairman of the South African Independent Power Producers’ Association, Mr Sisa Njikelana; Chief Director of Energy Planning at the Department of Energy, Ms Tshilidzi Ramuedzisi; Sanlam’s Markets Specialist, Mr Mannie Kambourakis; Dean and Head: Graduate School of Business and Leadership, Professor Theuns Pelser; and Academic Leader, Dr Mihalis Chasomeris.

The Durban business community recently gathered at the ICC for UKZN’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership’s (GSB&L) 5th Business Forum to exchange ideas on how businesses can remain productive during the country’s energy crisis.

The Forum, titled: “The State of Energy in South Africa: Business Thinking Outside the Box”, was hosted in partnership with Sanlam. The Forum brought together experts from the public, private and civil sectors to critically engage on this topical issue, which is affecting economic and social development in our region.

Discussing this topic was a panel consisting of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Officer, Ms Dumile Cele; the Chairman of the South African Independent Power Producers’ Association, Mr Sisa Njikelana; and the Chief Director of Energy Planning at the Department of Energy, Ms Tshilidzi Ramuedzisi.

Speaking on behalf of the Chamber, Cele said that businesses were being crippled by the effects of the energy crisis, including load shedding. He believed other alternatives, such as utilising the services of private energy suppliers, should be considered.

Ramuedzisi viewed the topic from a national perspective, highlighting the challenges Eskom faced when it came to meeting the country’s demand for power. She also emphasised that the energy crisis was not only limited to electricity supply. Therefore businesses needed to look beyond the energy department and play a role in driving the economy.

Njikelana, who has served as a member of parliament for ten years as well as being the Chairpersons of the Portfolio Committee on Energy and the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, said that the energy crisis called for innovative solutions such as the use of nuclear power, coal and renewable energy, as it could take years for Eskom to resolve its infrastructure issues.

After the panel discussion, the floor was open to the audience to voice their opinions and engage with the panel through a question and answer session. Among the issues that were raised was the looming electricity tariff hike and its impact, the increase in the demand for energy and whether small businesses will be able to survive and remain profitable during this crisis.

Sithembile Shabangu


author : .
author email : .