Load shedding appears to be about to take on its biggest victims, with fast-food giant KFC announcing the closure of some of its branches.
In a social media post on its official pages on Facebook and Twitter, as well as on its website, KFC said “some of our restaurants will be temporarily closed” due to the ongoing load shedding affecting suppliers.
They said others might have “limited availability” on some menu favorites.
“We apologize for the inconvenience and will be back soon”.
Business as usual has long been a concept of the past as abrupt changes brought about by intentional power outages continue to wreak havoc on the country’s economy.
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Small businesses hit hard
Small businesses are particularly hard hit and often face unforeseen generator and gas costs. This has forced many entrepreneurs to close up shop.
In July, Nova Economics calculated that Stage 4 load shedding would cost the economy about R950 million per day and Stage 6 about R1.5 billion per day. Moneyweb reported.
Speaking of SAFM Market Update from Moneyweb Speaking on Thursday night’s radio, Alexforbe’s chief economist Isaah Mhlanga said Stage 6 load shedding alone could have already cost the economy R4.1 billion a day.
South Africa is currently in stage 2 and 3 load shedding.
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Stage 5 and 6 load shedding has been implemented intermittently as Eskom continues to struggle with generating unit failures, the Koeberg nuclear power plant is being taken off the national grid and running out of money to buy diesel.
Last month, Eskom announced it was planning no further diesel orders before April 1, 2023, after exceeding its R11 billion diesel budget by about R1 billion.
This means it will be hard pressed to power its diesel-powered backup generation fleet through open-cycle gas-turbine power plants for the next several months.
Eskom has suffered a net loss of R12.3 billion, it announced when it presented its full-year results for the 2021/22 financial year last week.
The state-owned company currently has a debt of R396.3 billion, of which R45 billion is municipal debt.
Despite a reduction in financial losses, which have been cut by more than 50% compared to the previous fiscal year, the group’s CEO, André de Ruyter, bemoaned the lack of a normalized utility debt burden.
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