Businesses speak out about outage troubles

2008-04-06 00:00

Businesses around the city have been struggling with their own individual problems regarding outages.

Orthotist and prosthetist Craig Wright told The Witness that unexpected power cuts have the potential to cause big problems in his business.

"For instance, if I have a plastic mould for an artificial leg in the oven and there is an outage before it has cured properly, the mould is ruined. I have to start from scratch."

He said the special plastics used in the manufacture of artificial limbs and prostheses are expensive and he will have to bear the costs. "I can’t make the customer pay twice."

He also expressed concern that when doing a plaster of Paris mould of a limb, the mould is cut off the person using an electric saw.

"It’s more difficult to remove the mould by hand in the dark."

Dermatologist Dr Raj Singh of the Midlands Laser Clinic said that he has to invest in uninterrupted power supplies to ensure he isn’t caught out in the middle of a treatment.

"My patients travel a long way to see me, from towns like Greytown by taxi. I can’t wait for the power to come back on or turn them away."

He said he has not suffered any disasters during treatments due to load shedding, but has had to make use of candles for lighting at times.

Tattoo artist Mike Armstrong of Artura Tattoo Studio said a tattoo interrupted by a power outage could be completed at a later stage.

"I can carry on later, but the customer would have to walk around with a half-finished tattoo. You can’t wait two hours for the lights to come back on."

A frustrated Roxanne Crabtree of Natal Rubber said that she battled to get the correct information about load shedding from the municipality last week. She said that if the power fails while they are making products like conveyor belts, the rubber becomes stuck in the machines and is damaged and cannot be used again.

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