As load shedding continues indefinitely, businesspeople are feeling the heat in their pockets as they lose money trying to keep their businesses going.
These are the precise circumstances in which Angelo Zachariades and his wife Lynn are struggling to keep their restaurants open in the face of insurmountable odds.
The couple own and run two Mozambik restaurants in Gauteng.
Recently with load shedding at Stage 6, Zachariades said the situation has worsened. He has been contacted by individuals who claim to be working with Eskom and they told him that he was using too much power.
“We are also dealing with scam artists who work with individuals at Eskom who call us to say that we are drawing too much power and unless we pay up to R10,000 they will send someone to cut us off!” said the business owner.
“Obviously we refused to pay, and a genuine Eskom vehicle arrived to cut us off,” he said.
Zachariades went on to say that, thankfully, their security persisted on phoning their managers and refusing to let the Eskom personnel near the supply box.
“As soon as that happened, the Eskom bakkie drive off! It’s crazy out there,” he said.
The couple is now relying on generator power eight hours a day to keep the eatery open. Every two hours, this costs them R500 in diesel. They also had to replace their cool room and freezer room compressors due to Eskom power spikes, which cost them R40,000.
Each of the two generators costs R280,000. According to Zachariades, there are also additional expenditures connected with maintaining the generator.
Eskom was not available for comment.