Jan 23, 2008


The time has come to stop pointing fingers and for everyone to start helping to manage the present energy crisis in South Africa, says Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson. 

“In making this appeal I do not for one second condone the current situation in a first world country such as South Africa. It is Government’s responsibility to act against mismanagement of state departments should it be applicable.

“In order to secure the capacity for growth in South Africa for years to come, we have to accept, both as members of the business community and as private individuals, the reality of the situation and try and deal with it. This means looking at how we can help conserve energy for the greater good, however insignificant such actions might appear when viewed in isolation,” Basson said.

“As business people we can obviously contribute on two levels: by analysing electricity usage in our own undertakings to determine how we can operate in a more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly way by employing alternative energy sources.

“We have upgraded our stores with generators to offer Shoprite and Checkers customers a comfortable shopping experience even when load shedding is in progress. 

“The second is to see how we can lessen the impact of ever-present load shedding on the daily life of the community. 

“The Shoprite Group has identified the frustrating daily traffic congestions caused by non-functioning traffic lights as an area in which it can become involved. We are currently in discussions with local authorities about our funding the erection of solar panels to power traffic lights near our stores and workplaces.

“All South Africans have a responsibility to maintain an economy that can create jobs and secure a bright future for our children,” Basson concluded. 

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