In 2023, South Africa endured a staggering 332 days of load shedding, according to the figures, compiled by EskomSePush and The Outlier, including a record 74 days of Stage 6 power cuts that resulted in 10 or more hours without electricity. The impact has been devastating on businesses in the country, and the interruption of electricity has led to an all-time high in the loss of production and productivity.

Companies are faced with the challenge of operating sustainably under these conditions when many cannot afford alternative energy solutions. With no immediate relief in sight, other avenues need to be explored. This is where the Temporary Employment Services (TES) providers can play a pivotal role in supporting businesses.

Devastation of a nation

The lack of reliability of electricity supply disrupts operations, leading to ineffective operations and ultimately financial losses, while the impact of the rising cost of electricity exacerbates the issue. This challenge is twofold. When Eskom electricity is available, the high cost of electricity is impacting on profit margins, and when it is not, the cost of funding alternative electricity solutions, whether through renewable energy and/or fuel for generators, results in additional pressure.

Aside from the impact on the country’s economy, on a micro-economic scale, load shedding is devastating small businesses that can no longer afford to operate their business as electricity costs outweigh their profits. The energy crisis also has a massive impact on the job market as the country is bleeding jobs at an alarming rate, which we can ill afford to do.

Exploring other avenues

While many organisations have turned to alternative energy solutions, this is not an instant fix to our problems, and many businesses simply cannot afford the expense of alternative power solutions. There seems to be no end in sight for the current electricity crisis, which means that businesses need to explore other avenues to remain operational, and TES solutions can form a part of this solution.

TES providers can introduce a vital layer of flexibility by providing temporary staffing supply when required, ensuring that businesses only need to pay for these employees when they are working. While core staff should remain as permanent employees, the introduction of a temporary workforce can ensure productivity when there is power, without the expense of staff when there is not.

When there are unexpected periods where load shedding is suspended or the load shedding levels reduced, temporary employees can be arranged at short notice to increase production and productivity during these periods, providing a buffer for when we have increased stages of load shedding and production is limited.

In it for the long term

The electricity supply versus demand crisis is not going to improve in the short term, but businesses need to ensure they can weather the storm and continue operations until it does. Using a compliant and reputable TES can minimise both business and HR risk associated with electricity supply constraints. Load shedding has an enormous impact on the revenue and profits of businesses, but with access to a temporary workforce, businesses are better equipped to cope with the unpredictability of loadshedding schedules. 

Quintus Sliep, Managing Director of Worldwide Staffing

By Admin