Struggling entrepreneurs say loadshedding isn’t helping their businesses

Some business owners have been battling to generate an income during the lockdown and now Eskom is unable to provide an uninterrupted electricity supply.

George Ramokoena is now selling braai lunch parcels after he was retrenched during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Small businesses and entrepreneurs say that they are worried that they might lose everything they have worked for in a brutal post-COVID-19 economy that is being compounded by long periods of loadshedding.

Some business owners have been battling to generate an income during the lockdown and now Eskom is unable to provide an uninterrupted electricity supply.

Friday will be day four of rolling blackouts. Stage three loadshedding started at 8am and is expected to last until 10pm.

George Ramokoena was retrenched this year with two children and a wheelchair-bound wife at home to look after.
He walks to his front yard where the smell of a wood fire permeates through his Cosmo City neighbourhood.

Ramokoena sells braai parcels but he said that it was difficult to start a new business while loadshedding was constantly disrupting his plans.

“Even last night we didn’t have electricity for four hours and sometimes it’s gone for five hours. It’s going to be terrible for us now because I have to buy a gas stove,” he said.

Meanwhile, Joy Step Salon in northern Johannesburg is also battling to keep its doors open.

“Small businesses are suffering now and we need government to do something. We are concerned about paying rent and loadshedding isn’t helping our business make a profit,” said the salon’s owner Joyce Lartey.

Earlier this week, Eskom reminded Parliament that the country would have to battle through at least another two years of loadshedding.

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