Businesses struggle to survive as Eskom's rolling blackouts continue

Eskom has lumped the country with disruptive and costly stage four load shedding from Monday until Friday morning with plans to move to stage two thereafter.

Owner Task Coffin Manufacturers Achmat Simons says there’s a high demand for coffins by undertakers. He says losing power once or twice a day has a negative impact on production. PICTURE: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Many business owners around the country are looking carefully at their balance sheets, wondering whether they can survive this latest round of Eskom's rolling blackouts in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eskom has lumped the country with disruptive and costly stage four load shedding from Monday until Friday morning with plans to move to stage two thereafter.

However, like all Eskom announcements, they're subject to rapid change at a moment's notice, leaving citizens very little time to plan ahead.

Eyewitness News visited some businesses in Cape Town to find out whether they are surviving.

Thirty minutes before load shedding kicks in, staff of the Kiddos' Junction Puncture repair in Strandfontein in Cape Town rush to do as much work as they can.

Owner Burton France said they use equipment which needs electricity and if there is no power they can't work.

France said: "Two hours, two and a half hours twice a day, load shedding affects our working time. We make no money and we have to pay our staff for the full day. How can you make money? How can you live?"

Load shedding is impacting a wide variety of businesses.

Achmat Simon, owner of Task Coffin Manufacturers, said currently there is a high demand for coffins by undertakers.

Simon said losing power once or twice a day has a negative impact on production.

"We lose four hours a day. It's not good for business. We are always under deadlines. The people wait for their coffins, the undertakers, and you know they start having funerals from Wednesday onwards," said Simon.