The Department of Small Business Development recently released a statement announcing it has begun work to ease the burden of load shedding for small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) through what it is calling an “energy relief package”.
Unfortunately, the press statement didn’t elaborate on how these packages would work, how SMMEs were meant to apply, or what, if any, criteria would need to be met. Those secondary details will “be announced soon.”
Hopefully while there are still SMMEs left in the country.
Relief for SMMEs coming soon™
“SMMEs are particularly hit hard by continued power outages. Since many cannot afford alternative power sources such as generators, they are forced to pause trading during load shedding,” reads the statement.
The Department must’ve needed to explore the situation further because its Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) conducted a research study to determine the impact of load shedding on its clients. The study concluded with three key findings: most SMMEs are “highly reliant on electricity”, 71% of participants said load shedding was bad for business, and most said they needed alternative power sources to stay open.
Armed with these luminous insights and at the behest of minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, the Department and its internal agencies are now working on that energy relief package. Whatever it is.
The country had a few days of reprieve over the holiday period but Eskom didn’t waste much time returning us to varying levels of darkness. Currently, we’re fluctuating between Stages 4 and 5 as the energy ‘provider’ struggles to find enough generation capacity in its aging fleet of power stations.
Earlier this week, the National Energy Crisis Committee (Necom) announced plans to implement new legislation aimed at fast-tracking plant development with the hope that this will somehow fix the country’s now 15-year-old energy crisis.
What is it they say about barn doors and bolting horses?