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Load shedding challenges Western Cape businesses

By Staff Writer
According to a survey conducted by BDO, an audit, advisory and tax firm, “a reduction in service levels, an increase in operating costs, a negative impact on competitiveness and turnover and poor customer experience are all symptoms being experienced by Western Cape businesses who are having to cope with regular load shedding during business hours.”
 
Antonie Van Der Hoek, managing partner for BDO Cape Town, said: “We had noticed the effect that load shedding was having on our own business and were curious to see the impact it had on our clients’ businesses. For this reason we conducted this survey which saw 400 BDO clients being surveyed across four regions.  Sixty-four percent of the respondents have smaller businesses with under 100 employees, showing how detrimental the power cuts are to the growth and success of SME’s and SA entrepreneurs.”
 
The survey
 
According to BDO, 98% of respondents noted that “the uncertainty about the future of electricity supply in South Africa impacts negatively on investor perceptions of the country.”
 
Furthermore, 76% revealed that the frequent load shedding is having a negative impact on their operating costs, while 83% of respondents said that “their service delivery was negatively impacted in varying degrees.”
 
BDO highlighted that 69% of the respondents believed that their company’s competitiveness has been affected by the load shedding.
 
Van Der Hoek pointed out: “In a country where we are already struggling to attract foreign direct investment, load shedding further detracts from our competitiveness. We need to start investing in alternatives in order to keep the lights on, businesses operating smoothly and potential investors confident in our country.”
 
According to BDO, more than 60% of the respondents are looking at alternative and renewable energy options in response to the recurring load shedding from Eskom.

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