Power fails industry

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Local businessmen and women in Limpopo are angry at Eskom over the on-going power cuts that have been hitting the area recently.

The business people told Sowetan they are losing customers and that their businesses are suffering as a result.

"We are losing business every day due to the continuing power failure and we demand an explanation from Eskom," said one of the local businessmen.

Businesswoman Elsie Kruger, who manages Millennium Fast Food at Thabo Mbeki Street in Polokwane, said: "I deal with hungry customers who become angry when they do not get their food.

"When you tell them there is no current, they become angry and uncontrollable because they have nothing in their stomachs."

Kruger said things like ice- cream and vanilla melt easily when there is no current.

"When they melt, you are obviously going to throw them away. We cannot afford to work like this. This is unprofessional and we demand Eskom to come into the picture and give us an explanation."

George Bopape, who owns a barbershop in downtown Polokwane, said: "Power cuts are not a problem. The problem is that we are not told in time that there will be no power. We only need to be told when and how long."

He said he loses between R50 and R1000 a day if the power is off.

Phophi Kone, the provincial spokesman for Eskom, said South Africa has been experiencing a steady growth in demand for electricity over the past few years.

She said the power cuts have been caused by load-shedding.

"We are building new power stations that are poised to add value to the demand of power in Polokwane. The process is under way throughout the country."

Kone said Eskom has notified all councils where load-shedding is in the process.

"We may, however, not know how they communicate the message to communities."