Chickens may starve if Eskom cuts power, warns Astral Foods

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Johannesburg - Millions of chickens owned by Astral Foods will starve if planned power cuts to the poultry producer’s largest facility go ahead, the company warned on Thursday.

Eskom Holdings will interrupt supplies to the Lekwa municipality starting January 23 after local authorities failed to settle outstanding electricity bills, Astral said in an e-mailed statement, citing a letter from the state-owned utility.

Eskom may cut supplies “entirely and indefinitely” at a future date, it said. Astral has its largest feed-milling and poultry-processing operations in the area, about 160 kilometers (99 miles) south west of Johannesburg.

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