LOAD SHEDDING LEFT DURBAN CBD IN THE DARK
By: Sandile Zikhali
Eskom power cuts left shop owners at Durban CBD fuming with anger after they lost out on business for the whole day.
Dr Pixley ka Seme Street, (-formerly known as West Street) was buzzing with generators on Wednesday. The street which is always crowded with people and congested with traffic was in chaos. This is a result of Eskom load-shedding which taking place across the country.
“This load shedding is costing us business, we as a business are losing out on profit,” said Linda Gasa, a store manager at AA Furniture Wholesalers.
“Since we are a wholesaler we need to order stock, we can’t order without power. Computers are off, fax machines are also off, we can’t do anything, ” Gasa said.
Stores like Jet Mart and Pep were operating with minimum power using generators. “It’s very difficult to do our job in this darkness, we are following customers where they are. We try to keep them away from dark corners because some people would use this opportunity to steal from the store,” said Nkosinathi Zindela, a security officer at Jet Mart.
Since the load shedding does not take place simultaneously, other few stores had power. Other stores reported that they had been operating using generators from as early as nine in the morning.
Customers were also left in the dark. “I can’t see properly. I could pick up a wrong item or even pick up an expired item, and the moment I step outside my eyes are affected after being inside the dark stores,” said Elizabeth Bowden.
Shop owners said that if they had known the load shedding time table earlier, they wouldn’t have bothered to open their store in the first place.
Efforts to get hold of the eThekwini Electricity were unsuccessful.