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Small businesses most affected by blackouts: Sacci

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While South Africans brace for dark days ahead due to Eskom’s rolling blackouts, local businesses are facing even darker times as the parastatal continues its attempts to avoid a country-wide power system failure.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) says local businesses are doing what they can to avoid any possible loss as a result of load-shedding.

“We have seen a large increase in the amount of businesses utilising generators to keep the lights on. However, Industrial companies often require a larger amount of power supply to accommodate the heavy machinery,” Sacci’s CEO, Peggy Dobskie told VOC.

“The manufacturing industry is one that is quite negatively impacted. In that same arena it is the smaller, medium sized emerging manufacturers that are finding it most difficult, However the larger companies are focused on finding other ways to accommodate the demand for more electricity.”

Dobskie also encouraged local shop owners who are located on the busy streets of the cape flats to close their doors during a load-shedding period as criminal activity increase during those times.

Some businesses on the cape flats say a serious concern for their business is the loss of both customers and products.
Should a businesses not implement new ways to accommodate the electricity shortage, they could potentially face an impressionable loss in goods and/or sales. These pressures often lead many business owners to slightly increase their prices in the hopes of easing the financial strains.

However, Dobskie has urged business owners to instead close their doors, invest in electricity saving methods and use electricity sparingly by switching off unnecessary plugs. In addition, Dobskie advised owner to brace themselves for more load-shedding as Eskom continues to work towards the construction of new generations to accommodate the electricity demand in the country. Eskom’s load-shedding method has been implement to avoid a possible nationwide blackout. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)

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