‘It has a ripple effect’: Load shedding bringing Cape Town’s township businesses to their knees | News24

The results of load shedding on small companies are felt past the midnights.

Photo by Gallo Images/Fani Mahuntsi

  • Small enterprise homeowners concern they might have to shut store if load shedding continues.
  • Many township companies have already suffered losses attributable to energy interruptions.
  • The outages are undermining efforts to develop the economic system and create jobs, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry says.

Small enterprise homeowners in Cape Town’s townships are feeling the results of load shedding, past the midnights.

The misplaced income has seen companies compelled to shut branches and retrench employees, as they battle to maintain income coming in amid stage 6 load shedding, native enterprise boards say.

Khayelitsha Business Forum’s Mzee Kutta stated that many township companies have been feeling the monetary results of the hours misplaced attributable to load shedding.

He added that, though companies make much less cash when the lights go off, they’re nonetheless anticipated to pay the identical hire, and this locations pressure on smaller companies.

Kutta has been personally affected by the load shedding. He owns quite a few laundries and has needed to shut one of many branches.

He stated:

There is lots of uncertainty. People cannot work in order that they have much less cash. Because of the influence of load shedding, persons are being requested to not go to work or are retrenched.

Fellow enterprise proprietor Agnes Mayeki says her development firm has probably misplaced out on tenders as a result of she has not been capable of submit documentation on time.

“It affects us a lot. We can’t do anything. We can’t print or do quotations. It’s especially bad when we have dates on which we have to submit documents for tenders, but there is no electricity,” she stated.

Along with shedding out on enterprise, Mayeki says her employees have additionally felt the pinch as a result of they aren’t capable of work their common hours.

READ | TAKE A LOOK: How SA’s worst year of load shedding played out

Langa Business Forum’s Siseko Mngxali says load shedding has considerably impacted companies throughout all sectors.

“For instance, some of our members own sports bars where people come to watch TV. But due to the load shedding, their TVs are damaged, and their fridges have broken. There’s no one to pay them back for it. And if it’s load shedding, people won’t come to the sports bar.”

He added that meals distributors have been additionally severely affected, with their inventory going off when their fridges misplaced energy.

‘Enormously disruptive’

“For a small business that relies on fridges, the load shedding has a very negative impact. If their stock goes off, no one compensates them for the loss,” Mngxali stated.

He stated that some companies could also be compelled to shut attributable to losses introduced on by load shedding, including:

This means a loss in income for our neighborhood. Township companies are interconnected and are provided by different companies within the space. If a shisanyama closes, the grocery store it purchased meat from shall be affected. There’s a domino impact.

Gugulethu Business Forum’s Mlugnisi Mazana stated small companies have been extra more likely to be affected by the ability outages than bigger firms, particularly in the event that they weren’t capable of function.

“The operating time lost to load shedding heavily impacts on a small business owner’s income. It has a ripple effect, with businesses forced to shed jobs,” stated Mazana.

He added that aspiring enterprise homeowners have been more likely to be discouraged when witnessing the results of load shedding on companies of their neighborhood.

“People look up to small and medium enterprise owners and may hope to follow suit one day. But they will decide to put the brakes on their dreams if they see businesses closing down, not understanding that a major contributor to that is load shedding.”

READ | Rolling blackouts: The dark reality facing small business owners battling to stay aloft

Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Jacques Moolman stated load shedding was “enormously disruptive to the economy and the society at large”.

“Small business is particularly affected, which undermines the government’s mandate to grow the economy and create jobs. In particular, it undermines key job-creation sectors such as the hospitality sector, with micro-enterprises hardest hit because they often lack the resources to afford contingency plans such as generator backup power,” he stated.

City of Cape Town Mayco Member for Economic Growth James Vos stated load shedding “comes at a huge cost to businesses”, with many compelled to “divert finances from necessities such as hiring more staff towards buying equipment that will keep the lights on and machines running”.

“The City of Cape Town is currently the only municipality able to limit load shedding in its supply areas by building up reserves garnered from the well-maintained Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme,” he stated.

“The current situation again illustrates how necessary it is for Cape Town to further reduce its reliance on Eskom as soon as possible. Much work is already under way as it pertains to the City’s own build, small-scale embedded generation, wheeling and independent power producer programmes.”

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