Emerging businesses in KZN continue to feel the impact of ongoing load shedding

Constant load shedding by Eskom has crippled many businesses. File Picture: Henk Kruger African News Agency (ANA).

Constant load shedding by Eskom has crippled many businesses. File Picture: Henk Kruger African News Agency (ANA).

Published Dec 20, 2022


Durban - Emerging businesses, including operators in the entertainment and funeral service industries, have lamented the impact of the latest round of load shedding.

They say while some industries may make profits as the festive season moves into full swing, they are forking out huge amounts of money for generators and petrol to keep their businesses operating.

Power utility Eskom continues to implement load shedding causing disruption to households and businesses across the country.

A Durban businessman, Thembelani Dlamini, complained about load shedding, calling on the power utility to tackle the crisis.

Dlamini who owns Classic Lifestyle, a leisure and entertainment outlet in Chesterville, said the past weekend had been bad for his business. He lamented how he had been looking forward to the long-weekend to make a profit, but had to hire generators and buy fuel.

“Hiring a generator costs too much. For example, my generator cost R6 000 over the past weekend and I have to still buy diesel every day which is expensive on its own, so over a week you end up spending R8 000 for a generator. I have over R25 000 that goes to workers every Monday because

I pay them weekly,” said the business owner.

Such costs, Dlamini added, were affecting his profit margin and affecting other families.

“It is really difficult, because you have jobs to save at the same time, and I wish I could do something as we speak.

“We had multiple outages this past weekend and made a R15 000 loss,” Dlamini said.

Hlengiwe Ngwabe, CEO of Maqaqa Exclusive Lifestyle, another entertainment outlet, expressed frustration at running a business with constant power outages.

The outlet, which offers a salon, barbershop and car wash, was established in 2019.

“It is difficult to run a business during these times because you make a lot of losses. We have the challenge to satisfy our clients but it is hard when you have things like load shedding because of petrol and diesel and even hiring a generator.

“We opened two years ago. We opened at a crucial time in the world and South Africa, and due to Covid-19 and load shedding, we have barely had time to recover,” Ngwabe said.

She said they had not made much over the past weekend because of load shedding.

Despite the setback, Ngwabe remained optimistic and said they expect a good turnout of customers over the coming days.

“We are expecting people to still come this festive season, as they did over the past long-weekend, and the business we are in depends on the number of people you have come to your place,” she said.

Businesswoman and funeral services company owner Nomfundo Mcoyi said the festive period was a busy time for them, with load shedding posing a massive challenge, especially as temperatures are known to soar during this period.

Mcoyi, founder and CEO of Icebolethu Group, said continued extended load shedding has deeply affected them.

“We have back-up generators in all our 120 branches across KZN. But the main problem is having to buy fuel every day.

“We cannot have our fridges off because of the sensitivity of our business,” she said.

Another funeral parlour owner, Muzi Mkhize from Khayelihle Funeral Services in Pietermaritzburg, said he spends R1 000 a day on fuel just to keep fridges running all the time.

“This is not an easy business, especially as we experience load shedding. That means you have to spend the money more to keep the business running,” said Mkhize.