Power cuts cause for concern in South Africa

Power cuts cause for concern in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG- IN scenes reminiscent of crisis-battered Zimbabwe, South Africa is coming face-to-face with the shortage of electricity as well as a sharp increase in the price of bread, among other staple commodities.

 Some parts of Johannesburg have suffered incessant electricity cuts since the end of last year while the dire situation worsened this week with no end in sight.As if that was not enough, South Africans on Tuesday woke up to the news that the price of bread had gone up by at least 40 cents.
Zimbabwe’s southern neighbour, which recently cut off electricity supplies to Zimbabwe, is currently experiencing its worst shortage of the commodity in years as demand outstrips supply in the back of massive industrial growth. Businesses have decried the on-and-off scenario saying it was compromising their operations. “We are losing vast amounts of income because of the electricity cuts,” said a senior official at DoRegos Fast Foods in Braamfontein.
“Eskom (South Africa’s electricity parastatal) should find a way around this otherwise our businesses will unfold,” she said. Eskom recently revealed that the power cuts will continue in the next few years and has urged consumers to use electricity sparingly.
Meanwhile, the price of bread shot up by 40 cents, a massive increase by South African standards. The price of the most affordable loaf is now pegged at R4.20, while the popular Albany is now at about R7.”This is fast becoming another Zimbabwe,” mocked Sheila Mahlangu. Zimbabwe is experiencing an economic crisis that is highlighted by a biting electricity crunch and incessant price increase as well as massive shortages of basic commodities. “The last time I experienced power cuts and unwarranted price increases was two years ago when I last visited Zimbabwe,” Mahlangu added.The increase in the price of bread comes hot on the heels of government prosecuting bread makers of fixing the price of the commodity-CAJ News.

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