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COVID-19-battered small businesses left frustrated by latest power cuts

Eskom implemented rolling blackouts this week after 10 generating units broke down in the space of just 48 hours. On Wednesday, it was ramped up to stage four, leaving residential areas and small businesses without electricity for several hours.

Brandon Mpofu from Cosmo City, is battling to keep his business afloat post-COVID-19, and is now also hvaing to deal with loadshedding. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Small businesses, informal traders and entrepreneurs said that they felt lucky to have survived the economic crisis turmoil as a result of the lockdown and are now dealing with the turmoil of stage four loadshedding.

Eskom implemented rolling blackouts this week after 10 generating units broke down in the space of just 48 hours.

On Wednesday, it was ramped up to stage four, leaving residential areas and small businesses without electricity for several hours.

Small business owner, Joyce Lartey, owns several hair and beauty salons in northern Johannesburg.

He’s been battling to keep his business afloat as a result of the pandemic.

But now, with the economy reopened under level two of the lockdown, Lartey is angry that he is now being hit with both loadshedding and so-called "load reduction" in his area.

"You can do 10 clients a day but with electricity issues, you can't even do four or five. It's killing our business."

Brandon Mpofu owns a kota shop in Cosmo City.

He’s visibly stressed about how he is going to make enough money to support his family without electricity.

"I have to look after the whole family. I have to hustle. We're trying but I've lost 40%. We people in the locations, we're not getting anything [power] during the day."

Small businesses and entrepreneurs said that they were trying their best to come up with innovative ideas to work around the electricity crisis but did not know how long they would be able to cope.

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