Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Ordinary citizens and businesses are at financial risk owing to the load shedding phenomenon which is choking the country.

Philippe Chapat, the owner of five Dirty Laundry laundromat branches around Johannesburg, said should load shedding persist and he continues to lose business, he might need to cut staff.

“That's the problem and then it really affects them. My staff are very loyal, most of them have been with me for a minimum of 10 years. They're like my family and the last thing I want to do is to get rid of them,” said Chapat.

The five branches in Melville, Blackheath, Northriding, Banbury Cross and Randpark Ridge have 15 employees in total.

“When the power is off for four or five hours, you lose money. My ladies that work for me just sit. They can't work without electricity,” he said.

Chapat said his business loses a few thousand rand a day due to load shedding.

“It depends on how busy it is on the day and some people might come back or they'll move from one shop and go to another one so it's very difficult to say, but it's safe to say it's a few thousand rand a day,” he said.

Load shedding has also forced most business operators to resort to buying generators in order to stay afloat. An employee at Dali Restaurant in Ferndale, Johannesburg, said they bought a generator out of fear of being out of business.

“Load shedding is unpredictable and we can't wait while we lose business. The generator has saved us, but at extra cost,” said the employee.