South Africa’s Plea for bail-out from constant power outages affecting country’s wine industry and small businesses

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By Rogers Aghan, February, 14, 2023, The constant cut of power supply in South Africa continues to impede businesses with the wine and beverage industry experiencing significant losses.

The industry is among the players who have faced a significant hit considering that producers have yet to record any progressive revenues. The ongoing power shedding has also affected other industry players.

The South African nation has experienced this toil over the past years hence crippling vital economic contributors.

The major electricity crisis is characterized by almost six hours of constant power outages in a single day. It has thus affected small, struggling business owners faced with hard choices

“We can run the store which is good, but we can’t run the whole store, and it’s affecting sales because customers tend to buy less because they are worried about their fridges at home. We deal with fresh stuff so it does not last long,” said Joe, a store owner.

South Africa is among the top ten largest wine and beverage producers in the world, generating nearly $ 3Billion in net income annually.

Farmers and key producers in the wine industry have presented their worries regarding cuts in the harvest seasons for grapes in the country.

Different representatives have established a pact with power providers stating that there could be a need for these providers to supply power in the morning and immediately afternoon hours since these are the most crucial times of the day in the production industry.

South Africa is focused on adding electricity capacity through emergency procurement of renewable energy sources like solar and wind, but it could require an extended amount of time to put such plans in place.

In addition, the outages which have persisted for nearly 200 days now have caused misery to the 60 million citizens of the nation struggling with aspects like poverty, unemployment, and rising living cost.

“How do I pay my workers, how do I pay my rental, how do I go forward buying stock? Very difficult. It put me through a stressful time, and I am being honest, no lies about it, very stressful where I ended up having a heart attack due to the stress,” revealed Abdul Ally, owner of a pizzeria.

Different entities continue to experience losses as their most perishable stocked goods go to waste. They have had them discarded causing them massive losses.

“The load shedding is affecting us too much, because our stock is going rotten, our vegetables are going rotten. We have to throw almost every day the rotten stuff,” said Honest Moyo , general worker in a vegetable store.

The constant power outages have significantly impeded the country’s growth amid her hope and attempts to recover from the hard COVID-19 hit.



Tags: #Agriculture, #Beverage, #COVID-19, #Economy, #Power Outages, #Production, #South Africa, #Wine industry

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