PERSISTENT power cuts in some areas here are posing a serious threat to businesses as they have to discard meat from rot, rendering them to suffer financial losses.
Feb. 25, 2022
3 min read
Power outages haunt businesses
Meat rotting in a freezer
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Metro has learnt business owners in Dili Dili and Sixondo are unhappy that their operations are hard hit by power cuts, where power supply from South Africa’s power utility Eskom has been troubled with load shedding.
Business owner Lefa Hlalele operating in both Dili Dili and Sixondo said he was experiencing serious problems due to electricity cuts.
He runs a public bar in Dili Dili and a grocery store in Sixondo.
Over the years, Mr Hlalele said electricity cuts had been tolerable but had worsened since last year.
“It compounds our problems trying to navigate our way out of poverty,” he said.
So far, he said businesses had approached relevant authorities in the district for assistance.
“It is because unreliable power supply when running a business is risky and you end up losing instead of gaining,” he said.
Power cuts, he said had a negative impact on their businesses because they sold products such as meat that should always be kept in cold storage.
“We run a huge loss here”, he said. “The meat usually gets rotten when there is no electricity and without any other alternative we have to throw it away.”
For three years now, he said businesses had to sell their stock at low prices so that they could only cover production costs.
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One of the retailers who have had to empty their refrigerators because the meat was spoilt is Libuseng Rathipe who has been in retail business since 2001 said power cuts in the area had become a constant menace that frustrated them.
“Previously, it used to take a few days but it is now taking weeks and we are losing tremendously,” Ms Rathipe said.
The District Administrator (DA) in Quthing, ’Mapaseka K’hefa confirmed the power outages, saying local businesses were in serious trouble.
“However, the problem with businesses in Quthing is delaying to report so that they could get help on time,” she said.
“When I’m informed on time, I’m able to meet the relevant authorities in order to get to the root of the problem.”
Mrs K’hefa said the Rural Electrification Unit liaised with Eskom to ensure there was electricity supply in the area, adding that she had also discovered that payment to the power utility was usually delayed.
“We are going to sit down with those affected to find a lasting solution to the problem”, Mrs K’hefa said.
“These business people have been suffering for years but their suffering was intensified during the December holidays when the electricity was cut off for weeks. This happened at a time business was good as most people had come home for the holidays.”