'I feel like crying sometimes' — How load-shedding is crippling small businesses
As SA continues to battle rolling blackouts, small businesses are using generators and candles to keep their establishments open.
On Tuesday Eskom announced that load-shedding would continue at stage 5, with a possibility of being reduced a further stage by Thursday.
According to Braamfontein-based hair salon owner Nigel Abdullahi, load-shedding is compromising his livelihood.
Abdullahi said there have been fewer customers this week compared to previous weeks.
“When there is load-shedding clients don't come in to get haircuts or their hair washed. It is frustrating for a business owner,” he said.
“Even some appliances such as the television and radio that normally entertain my customers are no longer working because of a power surge that was caused by my generator.”
Another business affected by the power cuts is Florence's spaza shop in Pimville, Soweto.
The owner, who asked to be referred to simply as Florence, sells fast food such as kotas, vetkoek and fried chips.
“I cannot sell any food to my customers during lunchtime. I feel like crying sometimes because I am not able to make enough income to take care of my business and family,'' she said.
Collapse of national grid could leave SA without power for weeks
Eskom warned the country could be left without electricity for weeks should there be a total collapse of the national grid.
The power utility this week published a guide on the load-shedding process, informing the public about how power cuts prevent a total grid collapse. It said if the grid collapsed it would result in a total blackout that would leave the entire country without power for “a few weeks” as it recovers.
“If preventive measures, including load-shedding, are insufficient, the national grid will collapse. A blackout is unforeseen and therefore the system operator will not be able to make an announcement in advance,” it said.
“A national blackout will have massive implications, and every effort is made to prevent this from occurring. Depending on the nature of the emergency, it could take a few weeks for the grid to recover from a blackout.”
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