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Electricity Crisis Plagues Ekurhuleni Businesses Causing Economic Hardship



GCNnews -Ekurhuleni

Wadeville and Germiston businesses in Ekurhuleni are grappling with the severe consequences of the ongoing electricity crisis, exacerbated by frequent load-shedding. The situation has reached a critical point, leaving businesses in a state of distress and uncertainty.

Numerous businesses along Immelman Road in Wadeville experienced a debilitating two-week power outage in March, followed by another two-week outage in May. Despite lodging complaints and obtaining reference numbers, these businesses feel frustrated by the lack of tangible results from the process.

The frequent load-shedding and power outages have severely impacted business operations, resulting in reduced working hours, diminished production, and decreased income. As a result, some businesses have been forced to invest significant amounts in alternative power sources, while others simply cannot afford the additional expenses.

Mark Beyl, an executive director at Nordbak, highlighted the challenges they face in serving their clients and maintaining operations. For example, Nordbak had to rely on generators to keep their work going, which incurred substantial costs. In their most recent electricity downtime, they spent R118,770 on diesel, requiring 800 litres every 40 hours to sustain the generator.

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Industrial generators have become the prevailing alternative energy source for businesses in the area. However, the costs of running these generators further burden businesses already struggling to survive. Lawrence Kau, a business owner, expressed the dire consequences of the power outage, leading to a loss of clients and disruption to their machinery-dependent work.

As operating costs soar and profitability declines, Wadeville businesses foresee the possibility of job cuts in the near future. The seven businesses that recently met with GCN collectively employ approximately 1,000 people, highlighting the significant impact on employment in the area.

Germiston has also experienced similar hardships, with Diesel-Electric Reef enduring over 21 days without power. The branch manager, David Washer, expressed frustration over their prolonged power outage and the lack of assistance from the City of Ekurhuleni. Despite being a longstanding and timely bill payer, their pleas for help have gone unanswered.

Washer lamented the additional expenses incurred in running a generator to fulfil client expectations, emphasising the financial strain on their business. Diesel-Electric Reef, employing around 31 individuals, exemplifies the struggle many businesses in the region face.

GCN approached Nkululeko Dunga, MMC of Finance, to address the impact of load-shedding and power outages on Ekurhuleni businesses. Dunga acknowledged the severe economic consequences and pledged to implement measures to mitigate the problem. He expressed support for a recent High Court ruling that identified areas to be spared from load-shedding.


As Ekurhuleni businesses anxiously await a resolution to the electricity crisis, the urgency to secure a reliable power supply remains paramount.

Source: Local businesses crippled by power outages

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