No power for produce shop

2016-09-01 12:18
Manager of Dukwah's Fresh Produce Tyran Govender helps Mkhethi Madillo clear rotten fruit and vegetables after they were damaged due to the week-long power outage on the premises in Mkondeni.

Manager of Dukwah's Fresh Produce Tyran Govender helps Mkhethi Madillo clear rotten fruit and vegetables after they were damaged due to the week-long power outage on the premises in Mkondeni. (Ian Carbutt)

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One of the city’s largest fresh produce suppliers was left with heaps of rotten fruit and vegetables after a week without electricity.

The electricity supply to Dukwah’s Fresh Produce, situated in Shortts Retreat Road in Mkondeni, was cut last Wednesday. This was believed to be due to a “break in the cable”.

Manager of Dukwah’s Fresh Produce Tyran Govender said numerous calls to the Msunduzi Municipality proved “fruitless” as no one could explain to him what the exact problem was or when they could expect their electricity supply to return.

The municipality also did not respond to The Witness’s query on the issue on Wednesday.

The Dukwah’s Fresh Produce building appears to be the only premises without electricity on the road where numerous factories and businesses are situated.

Govender said the electricity outage resulted in about R20 000 worth of fresh produce rotting. “We are one of the biggest suppliers of fresh produce in the city and distribute to shops like Spar, Pick n Pay, Save stores and Food Lover’s Market. This electricity outage is a huge setback for our business.”

In the past week Govender said the company spent between R700 and R800 a day on diesel for the generator.

“Although we do have a generator, it cannot run for 24 hours straight. We have to switch the generator off to cool down for a while then start it again,” he said.

Govender said they take extremely good care of the generator as their business now depends on it.

“If the generator packs up then our business is dead,” he said.

Another struggle Dukwah’s Fresh Produce supply is experiencing is the fact that their computers cannot be switched on. Govender said if the computers are switched on then the cold rooms have to be switched off and vice versa.

“The generator cannot support everything so we have to give and take.”

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  power outage

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