As the country’s power woes continue, many Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) are faced with the possible reality of permanently closing their doors. Thando Makhubu’s ice cream business is one of those businesses.
President Cyril Ramaphosa praised Makhubu, a young businessman from Soweto, during his 2022 State of the Nation Address (SONA), for starting an ice cream business with his R350 COVID-19 social relief of distress (SRD) grant.
“Mr Thando Makhubu from Soweto received the R350 grant for seven months last year, and saved it to open an ice cream store that employs four people,” Ramaphosa said during his SONA.
30-yr-old Thando Makhubo from Jabulane in Soweto who was mentioned by President Ramaphosa during SONA last night that he got R350 grant for 7-months and saved it to open an ice cream store. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/LfV6lR2bsd
— Tshepo (@tphagane) February 11, 2022
However, Eskom’s never-ending rolling blackouts have brought Makhubu’s ice cream business to its knees. Makhubu is struggling to keep his doors open due to the ongoing load shedding.
The Soweto businessman received the R350 grant for seven months in 2020 and saved it to open an ice cream store. The business employs four people.
Makhubu says if the power cuts continue, he will be forced to let go of his employees. He adds that even though he owns a generator, it is not financially feasible to use it as petrol is costly.
Two weeks into 2023, the struggling power utility plunged the country into Stage 6 power outages.
Residents can go up to 8 hours without power in a single day during stage six power outages.
Below is the full interview:
Meanwhile, on January 22, Eskom board chair Mpho Makwana and Eskom management gave an update on the electricity crisis.
Makwana said they were considering permanent load shedding between stages two and three over the next two years in a bid to accommodate the necessary maintenance.