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  • 17 May 2023
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The 2023 theme for panel discussions – adapt or die – focuses on issues that revolve around a changing mindset in order to survive. This discussion focused on the current energy crisis with the following panellists: Jan Oberholzer (Group Chief Operating Officer Eskom), Eugene Booysen (CEO Cape Town Stock Exchange), Cor Kraamwinkel (Webber Wentzel), Rudi Dicks (NECOM) and Nico Liebenberg (Greenpak & Senwes).

Liebenberg gave the financial picture for farmers to set up alternative energy: “100 kVA works out around R1 million. Our business can run on generators from A to Z, but it will cost us R1,5 million per month if it runs for 8 hours per day. We invested in generators first and then started with solar panels.”

Oberholzer gave the assurance that Eskom has very competitive people who know exactly what they're doing. “Loadshedding stages will be increased when necessary. I have listened to all of this nonsense of people who have a glass ball and say that we are moving to stage 8 in the first week of June. Pure nonsense! We have a reserve of 2 200 MW at all times. As soon as the capacity is not enough for the demand, inclusive of the 2 200 MW reserve, the load shedding stage is increased. It is unlikely to happen, but if and when we get to a stage where we have a blackout, at least we are in a place where we can get back the grid.”

Dicks was of the opinion that incentives that government announced is a forward-moving action. “Pricing of electricity has increased by 200% since the start of the crisis. Some operations had to close. Energy is only one problem. The war is also a problem. Fuel prices are affected very much.”

Kraamwinkel mentioned that SA is in a reasonable space concerning tax, comparing to other countries. “Previously you could depreciate capital investments over 3 years. After the minister's announcement earlier this year, you can now deduct the entire capital amount in the first year with an additional 25%.”

Booysen said that farmers are already undertaking ESG credentials, they just have to get credit for it. “Eskom is not the only problem. We are so far behind other countries. The ability to store electricity is critical.”

Watch this discussion here if you missed it. Book your seat for upcoming Nation in Conversation sessions here.

Issued by Nation in Conversation: 17 May 2023

Media enquiries:

Elmarie Joynt
Senwes Group Legal Counsel & Group Company Secretary
018 464 7104 or 083 440 1345

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