Eskom agrees to meet Agri SA to discuss impact of load shedding

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom has agreed to meet with the big players in the agricultural sector.

This comes after Agri SA wrote to Eskom management calling for an urgent meeting to discuss the impact of load shedding on the sector.

Agri SA’s concerns come amid weeks of rolling blackouts.

The economy has since suffered a major blow with power cuts affecting productivity and the agricultural sector has not been exempted.

Agri SA warned of dire consequences for the agricultural sector if load shedding persisted.

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Farmers who irrigate crops battled to keep up, while meat and dairy processors also took a hard knock.

The federation’s executive director Christo van der Rheede said while it’s not the first time the industry suffered at the hands of power cuts – the lack of government intervention was worrying.

“There have been a lot of promises made by politicians, but the big challenge obviously is that there is no real improvement.”

Agri SA said it feared that the unstable power supply could jeopardise export agreements, with the industry battling to keep up with demands.

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Van der Rheede said Eskom has agreed to meet with the big players in the agricultural sector but can’t give further details on the meeting.

“I cannot disclose the date at this point in time, but a date has been confirmed.”

Eskom vowed to address the power crisis urgently, but it appeared plans to add more generation capacity to the grid might only be effective in the long run.

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