Cape Town – The Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (Fedhasa) says the continued rolling blackouts are disastrous for small to medium enterprises as they buckle under the pressure of rising costs.
This follows after power utility Eskom had announced that Stage 4 rolling blackouts were on the cards from Tuesday and for the rest of the week.
Fedhasa says following the pandemic, many small businesses were looking to this festive season for some sort of recovery.
According to the SABC, several restaurant businesses around Cape Town and the city centre are struggling to maintain themselves with the current power outages even though they would try and make adjustments in order to keep business operations running.
These businesses are saying although they are making adjustments such as using Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS), they are not working effectively as they would spend long hours without electricity.
Speaking to the SABC, Fedhasa national chairperson, Rosemary Anderson, said it was unfair to an industry that was coming out of two years of very damaging covid-19 restrictions.
Anderson urges the government to understand that the food and beverage industry is one of the major catalysts to job creation in the country.
“Sadly those most damaged are the smaller hospitality business that does not have the capital to invest to invest in alternative energy supplies such as inverters or generators,”
“The inconsistent and erratic electricity supply also makes it difficult to keep one’s fresh produce from going off, so as a result many small establishments are having to buy daily stock or produce instead of buying it in bulk which is causing the low of profit margins,”
She also said that the additional costs and monthly costs of purchasing diesel or eating into profits which are already squeezed due to significant inflation rises for food.
Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town says it has privileged to offer City supplied areas with a lower level of outages in Cape Town, however with the frequency of outages recently they don’t have sufficient lead time to recharge system that offers hydropower to Cape Town residents.