- For more financial news, go to the News24 Business front page.
KFC says around 70 of its stores are now temporarily closed as its chicken suppliers struggle with constant power outages. The fast-food outlet is struggling with a shortage of "chicken on the bone" supplies.
The outlets are mainly in North Gauteng (Pretoria) and KwaZulu-Natal.
There are more than 1 000 KFC outlets in the country, and 600 have back-up generators.
"However, some of our suppliers have experienced immense operational disruption due to consistent and intense load shedding throughout 2022," a spokesperson told News24. "This means we are experiencing some constraints in our supply chain, which although currently limited, have impacted some of our restaurants."
KFC has warned that customers may see "limited availability" of some of its menu items due to load shedding.
"Our chicken on the bone items have been impacted the most. We still however have a range of menu items available – including our burgers and wraps," a spokesperson said.
KFC is working with its suppliers to ensure they have sufficient back-up power so that these constraints are resolved.
The spokesperson said that this should happen soon, so that the restaurants can reopen again.
We are sorry, but due to the ongoing loadshedding, some of our restaurants will be temporarily closed, while others may have limited availability on some of your favourite menu items.We apologise for the inconvenience and will be back soon. pic.twitter.com/RTkWRQLDjO— KFC South Africa (@KFCSA) December 27, 2022
Wednesday marked the 201st day of load shedding this year, making 2022 the worst year on record for power outages in South Africa.
Businesses have struggled with the impact, with The Foschini Group reporting that load shedding cost it R400m in lost sales in the six months to end-September. The group is investing large amounts in back-up power, and is now the largest single customer of batteries manufactured by Elon Musk's Tesla.
Shoprite warned that increased generator use is adding R100 million to its monthly spending on diesel, while Mr Price has estimated that it lost 80 000 trading hours in the 26 weeks to 1 October due to load shedding.
The article has been updated with information about chicken supply shortages.