Small businesses are feeling the effects of loadshedding. Eskom rolled out loadshedding nationally, due to a shortage of capacity and a highly constrained power system.

A laundromat business in Nelmapius, in Pretroria, which started just over two years ago is one of the businesses feeling the effects. Store owner, Lucky Swane says the cost of not having electricity is that they have lost money.

” It affects us when it comes to customers. We are losing customers. Sometimes we don’t have food. We don’t have money to buy food. We must buy electricity. When there is loadshedding some of the customers just come and pick up their clothes that we didn’t wash and we have lost the money there and we don’t have anything to buy food for the children. This time of the month it’s Christmas and children needs clothes, we don’t have money and it affects us a lot.”

Eskom has warned that load shedding is likely to continue this weekend and has urged people to check online for updates on the stage of loadshedding. Eskom yesterday ramped up stage two load shedding to stage four.

Energy analyst Chris Yelland says the current loadshedding will have an impact on the Gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter if it continues for more than a week.

Yelland says load shedding is very harmful to the economy. “The load shedding earlier this year showed some significant influence in slowing down growth, in fact taking it negative earlier this year . So this kind of load shedding does have economic impact but it really all depends on how long the load shedding lasts for. If load shedding is just one day then it doesn’t have much impact but if we have a week or two of load shedding then it has a significant impact on GDP . So lets just see how this pans out but it doesn’t look good at the moment.”

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