Still no schedule for PMB

2019-02-15 14:35

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While the resurgence of load shedding hits local businesses hard, with some struggling to please frustrated clients, Msunduzi is still unable to produce an updated load shedding schedule.

The Witness has been inundated with queries from residents on how the latest round of load shedding will affect them — especially with the newly introduced stage four.

From hairdressers to the auto industry to the food industry, local business owners said load shedding was taking its toll on their operations, and some were having to fork out extra cash to run generators.

The country has seen daily load shedding this week, and there appears to be no real end in sight. On Wednesday, the Department of Public Enterprises presented a report which said Eskom will cease to exist beyond April on its current trajectory, so serious was the utility’s financial position.

Shantal Beneche, the owner of Blu Gel Hair Salon in Scottsville, said she has had to bring in a generator and a second geyser so there is enough hot water for washing hair.

“We use hair dryers all day long so it’s very irritating when there are these interruptions. Running the generator is also an extra expense,” a frustrated Beneche said. “We try to work around the load shedding scheduled times, but we can’t do as many clients when using a generator. Luckily we’re not based in a mall so there is natural light coming in when there’s no electricity.”

Local baker Cheryl Govender also reported she was struggling with the load shedding.

She said staff at her bakery, the Cake House, normally worked late into the night and are unable to use the generator during those hours because of the noise it makes, forcing them to work by candlelight.

“The quality of our work is compromised. Also, when we use the generator there are power surges. One of my staff was mixing a cake and suddenly the mixer went on a higher setting and sprayed cake mix everywhere.”

She said: “Everyone in the food industry will feel load shedding. We lose during this time. We are unable to keep some things cool properly, it becomes very tough and it takes extra time to do things.”

Govender added that the delivery of her products took longer during load shedding because of traffic backlogs when traffic lights were not working.

A representative from Auto Hail Raven Panel Beaters said load shedding was having an impact, saying that their customers were growing frustrated.

“It is slowing down production. Without electricity we can’t do most things.”

Msunduzi spokesperson Ntobeko Ngcobo did not respond to a query on when Msunduzi will have its full load shedding schedule, with explanations of how the various stages would be implemented, in order.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  load shedding

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