Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – Eskom not sticking to its load shedding schedule has small businesses up in arms.

The power utility on Wednesday continued with stage 2 of rotational load shedding as a number of generating units were still out of service due to breakdowns.

Michael van Wyk, from Vanrhynsdorp in the Matzikama Municipality, works from home as a graphic designer and said he had to plan his projects according to when the electricity was on.

But working to deadline, and Eskom not adhering to its load shedding schedule, had an adverse effect on business.

This week, load shedding took place twice in the municipality, Van Wyk said, and to add to that it was out of the given time frame.

“It’s bad enough having an outage, as it affects our livelihoods. I work to deadline and every minute counts.”

Luvuyo Rani, who in 2016 was named the Schwab Foundation social entrepreneur at the World Economic Forum, said the impact on revenue could already be felt.

Rani is managing director of Silulo Ulutho Technologies, which has 46 branches in and around Cape Town’s townships.

His company sells second-hand computers, runs internet cafés, a computer school and installs software.

“It’s already tough for small businesses and this makes it worse. I have had computers destroyed because of load shedding,” Rani said.

Eskom did not respond to questions yesterday.

The state-owned company said earlier: “Our maintenance teams continue to work hard to bring the units back to service.

“Customers are reminded to treat all electrical points as live during load shedding. Eskom would like to sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

Stage 2 calls for 2 000MW to be rotationally load shed nationally at a given period.

“Load shedding is conducted rotationally as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.

“We continue to appeal to residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly during this period.

“Please switch off geysers, as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.”

The Cape Chamber of Commerce has in the meantime urged businesses to be less reliant on Eskom power.

Chamber president Janine Myburgh said: “South Africa has huge reserves of coal, but the problem is that most of this coal is being transported by road at great cost and that problem will not go away quickly.

“Eskom has failed to develop the mines near the power stations and to do so now will cost money that Eskom doesn’t have, and it will take years.”

Cape Times