As part of its Save Our Steel Campaign Solidarity today sent a letter to government requesting an urgent high level meeting to discuss the negative impact winter power rates have on the steel and chrome industry.
According to Solidarity Deputy General Secretary for the Metal and Engineering Industry, Marius Croucamp, companies close plants and shut down smelters due to the higher power rates that apply in June, July and August. “When production is halted at companies no economic growth takes place, which could result in retrenchments at the companies in question,” Croucamp cautioned.
Croucamp contends that a model that allows for flexibility must be found to assist and support companies during the increased winter power tariff period. “Such a model should ensure that production is not halted and jobs are retained,” Croucamp said.
According to Croucamp, talks with players in the industry have revealed that Eskom was not prepared to accommodate them as far as increased winter tariffs were concerned. “It is precisely because of this premise that Solidarity wants to get industry players, government and Eskom around the table to find a solution to the problem,” Croucamp said.