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Load shedding sabotages food production

Aerial view of agricultural tractor in the field
Aerial view of agricultural tractor in the field

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Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture (FSA) warned today that the increase in load shedding is undermining food production. According to Wilken, the organization’s members are seriously concerned about the impact of load shedding on farmers’ production capacity. “Providing reliable electricity is critical in every facet of the agricultural industry. However, level 6 load shedding causes agricultural activities to be brought to a halt for large parts of the day”, said Wilken.   

Free State Agriculture believes that black empowerment laws, trade unions and bureaucratic restrictions are the reason for the ongoing crisis:

  • The race-obsessed “empowerment policy” leads to abuse by political elites within state institutions such as ESKOM. This drove expertise and competent management (from all communities) out of Eskom and resulted in the economy being systematically strangled to death. Now food production is being sabotaged by political ideology.
  • The influence that NUMSA has in ESKOM as well as the government is another reason for the power crisis. For decades, the unions have been appeased to the detriment of all the country’s people. Rumors of sabotage during the recent wage disputes with Eskom suggest that NUMSA will hold South Africa hostage to their own interests.
  • Private power supply capacity already exists. It is ready to push electricity into the power grid. In some cases, solutions from agriculture have also already been put in place. However, the implementation of this generating capacity is not allowed by ESKOM’s ideologically driven and race-obsessed bureaucracy.

The effects of the power crisis on the country’s ability to produce sufficient and affordable food and its impact on job creation are two critical factors that are moving South Africa closer to a knife’s edge of anarchy. It threatens much more than just agriculture in South Africa.

Free State Agriculture is making a submission to NERSA this afternoon in opposition to ESKOM’s 32% price increase request to start implementing from 1 April 2023.