LegalBrief 20 May, 2019
Proactive businesses in SA are already starting to confront life without Eskom by putting plans in place to generate their own energy. According to a report in The Citizen, Anglo Platinum and Sibanye-Stillwater are two high profile companies at an advanced stage of planning for solar plants to generate their own electricity. The City of Johannesburg wants to cement a deal with Harith-owned Kelvin Power Station to purchase power as a way to prevent load shedding, which has done incalculable harm to businesses in the city. Other companies are further advanced in their plans to reduce their dependence on Eskom power. In 2016, Makro erected solar panels on the roof of its Makro Carnival store on the East Rand to generate 60-80% of its energy needs during the day, equivalent to 30% of the store’s annual energy needs. Many smaller businesses have invested hundreds of thousands of rands in generators to serve as back-up power sources in the event of outages. Des Muller, MD of energy advisory group NuEnergy Developments, warned that SA’s electricity challenges will remain in the foreseeable future and companies need to be prepared, but urged taking sound independent advice before plunging into self-generation solutions.