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By Alec Hogg
Spent a couple of interesting hours yesterday with execs from a multinational considering investing in South Africa. Among the key questions was if Eskom would be able to deliver continuous power; and whether recent (huge) tariff increases will continue.
Here’s some good news. Despite electricity outages during the Eskom wage negotiations, uninterrupted supply should become the norm. After Medupi, Kusile and the renewable programme, it will require years of strong economic growth to suck up excessive supply.
Also crazy tariff increases of recent times are also unlikely to be repeated. For one thing, hiking the price is not an option when there’s insufficient demand for your product. For another, president Cyril Ramaphosa told us yesterday that he has made capping Eskom tariffs a priority.
In his speech celebrating Mercedes Benz’s R10bn fresh investment into its SA plant, Cyril gave special attention to the Zuptas’ erstwhile piggy bank: “We are also determined to lower manufacturing costs by, among other things, significantly improving Eskom’s financial and operational performance…” From his lips to God’s ears.