Planned power cut will hit op­er­a­tions hard, says As­tral

The Star Late Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT -

ESKOM’s planned power in­ter­rup­tions to the Lekwa Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in Mpumalanga start­ing on Jan­uary 23 as a re­sult of out­stand­ing pay­ments to Eskom would af­fect As­tral’s feed and poul­try op­er­a­tions in the area, the JSE-listed poul­try pro­ducer said yes­ter­day. As­tral chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Schutte said: “We re­gard the no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the power in­ter­rup­tions and po­ten­tial dis­con­nec­tion of elec­tric­ity sup­ply to As­tral’s largest feed milling and poul­try pro­cess­ing op­er­a­tions, as a catas­tro­phe. A ma­jor part of As­tral’s op­er­a­tions is the live­stock busi­ness, thus any form of power cuts has a se­vere im­pact on the con­tin­u­ous sup­ply chain of the in­te­grated busi­ness, with dire con­se­quences. The mag­ni­tude of this de­ci­sion has far-reach­ing im­pacts on the com­mu­nity, live­stock and food se­cu­rity at a na­tional level,” he said. As­tral’s share price on the JSE was yes­ter­day down 1.84 per­cent at R133.51 a share. – Siseko Njobeni

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