S.Africa: Electricity Crisis: power crisis is untenable: Mr Price chair

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Government must communicate its official, detailed plan for the solution to the energy crisis to protect and grow the economy: Nigel Payne.

Retailer Mr Price Group is rolling out backup power to all its stores, as the company’s chairman called the country’s current electricity shortage untenable.

The Durban-based specialist in mid-range apparel, sports goods and homeware said on Friday it is on track to reach its target of backup power in 70% of its South African stores by the end of this financial year in March, and in 100% of shops “as soon as possible thereafter.”

While this is adequate for a certain threshold of blackouts, the plans are under review due to the recent intensity levels, Mr Price said in a trading update.

The update for the third quarter from 2 October 2022 to 31 December 2022 showed growth in group retail sales and other income of 34% to R12.4 billion – the highest Q3 sales level achieved in its history. However, this is due to the inclusion of recently acquired Studio 88 (S88). Excluding S88, group retail sales rose by just 1.2% over a period which included Black Friday and the festive season.

“It is critical for government to communicate its official and detailed plan for the solution to the energy crisis in South Africa, in order to protect and grow the economy and for business to plan accordingly,” said Chairman Nigel Payne. “The current situation is untenable, and government needs to take decisive action and to be held accountable for implementation.”

Eskom has rationed electricity for 82 consecutive days, with up to 12 hours of daily blackouts last week and earlier this week. President Cyril Ramaphosa canceled his attendance at this year’s World Economic Forum to deal with the crisis and had emergency meetings with Eskom officials, but the government and the power company have not officially communicated what they plan to do.

Source: https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/companies-and-deals/sas-power-crisis-is-untenablel-mr-price-chair/

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