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    Load shedding is melting Soweto ice cream shop which Ramaphosa said was started with R350 grant

    January 17, 2023 - Jonisayi Maromo


      Pretoria - The relentless load shedding being experienced across South Africa has left many business people frustrated and many households in despair, with threats of rolling mass action.

      “It’s really, really terrifying because we are a small business, and we are trying to grow. Profit is really important for the growth of Soweto Creamery, and if it continues to hammer us like this, we won’t be able to grow,” the founder of the popular business, Thando Makhubu, spoke to Newzroom Afrika.

      “As I was telling you, a week ago, we did not have electricity for like 72 hours, and we could not afford to lose our stock. We spent over R1 000 on petrol, obviously running the generator.

      “If it continues like this, it’s gonna be a problem.”

      Makhubu said during the 72-hour blackout, the business’ profit was then diverted and used to buy petrol to save to stock.

      “It is the stock that we can’t afford to lose. We are looking at alternatives like inverters and stuff, but things like inverters and solar are really expensive. We got a quote of over R100 000, and that is really, really pricey, but it makes more sense having it over a generator because the generator has a continuous cost of petrol,” he said.

      The business employs four people, and Makhubu said if the power cuts continue, he has no option but to lay off his workers.

      Laying off the workers would also mean closing the shop, said Makhubu.

      In his State of the Nation Address last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged Makhubu’s success as well as others who used their Covid-19 grants in a similar way.

      “Mr Thando Makhubu from Soweto received the R350 grant for seven months last year and saved it to open an ice cream store that now employs four people,” Ramaphosa said at the time.

      On Monday, Eskom postponed its scheduled media briefing due to an urgent meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

      Earlier on Monday, Eskom issued a notice that a virtual meeting to update the country on system challenges was to take place at 5pm.



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