Joint statement by The Presidency and Business Unity South Africa

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) has assured President Cyril Ramaphosa of the business community’s support for current efforts to stabilise electricity supply in the country and to secure the sustainability of Eskom as a power utility.

BUSA has made a commitment to leverage its membership in order to place expertise, skills and technological interventions at the disposal of government and Eskom, to reinforce actions that are currently being implemented to stabilise Eskom and to secure the supply of electricity.

BUSA’s engagement on these initiatives will serve to complement and strengthen the work being done by the management and board of Eskom in partnership with the Special Cabinet Committee on Eskom chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza and the technical review team on Eskom that is led by Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan.

BUSA offered its commitment to President Ramaphosa at a meeting in Pretoria today, Wednesday 3 March 2019, where Minister Gordhan updated South Africa’s largest business federation on the challenges facing Eskom and actions that are unfolding to mitigate the immediate crisis and secure the long term sustainability of the power utility.

Business Unity South Africa is the largest business confederation in South Africa and serves as an apex structure for a broad range of organisations that represent various sectors of business. It represents business on cross cutting issues relating to economic, social, trade, environment and transformation in national and international structures and bodies, and is the representative of business at Nedlac. BUSA views the revitalisation of Eskom as the single most important priority for the economy and underpins inclusive growth.

The organisation has proposed the creation of a collaborative platform where business, government and Eskom can work together to explore practical solutions to address the short term operational challenges facing the utility.

This platform will enable regular and transparent communication with the business community; lend operational and technical expertise and solutions, as well as leverage available human capital by secondment or other means. BUSA will engage with its members on issues including demand management that could help to reduce pressure on the national grid.

Today’s meeting agreed that greater public and business confidence pertaining to the supply of electricity depended on improved coordination and communication within government around Eskom, and between government and business. This applied similarly to government’s communication with the nation at large.

The meeting welcomed the increasing frequency and depth of communication by Minister Gordhan and Eskom Chair Mr Jabu Mabuza on Eskom, and called for this effort to be intensified.

President Ramaphosa welcomed the initiative presented by BUSA in the spirit of Thuma Mina and said the new channel for greater transparency and the sharing of information would facilitate and encourage improved coordination among stakeholders that would assist in the day-to-day improvement of the current situation.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa