Businesses count losses caused by frequent power outages
Since the beginning of the new year both businesses and individuals across the country have been plagued by power outages.
This costly development, especially for businesses came as a result of an expired power supply contract that Botswana had with Eskom in South Africa.
Last Friday as Francistowners went without electricity from 9 am till 3pm The Voice took to the streets to find out how businesses coped.
Coffee shop owner, ,Blasco Pierre Yves said, “We make nearly half of what we make in other months.
Every time around this time of the year we lose a lot of business because of power cuts. Without power we are limited in what we can offer.
So you can imagine how difficult it is when at the end of the month there is rent to pay.
If we can’t make money we can’t meet our obligations.”
“ The rentals are already steep , personally I believe generators should be part of the package.
Furthermore it’s not normal that with so many high taxes we are getting such sloppy service in return whether it be roads, electricity or rubbish collection,” he charged
The the country’s major supermarket Pick and Pay shared similar sentiments.
“A lot of our perishables get spoilt. Since morning more than 10 customers have returned the milk they bought because it had gone off .
Sections of the supermarket such as the bakery and the fast food grind to a halt.
The worst part is that these power cuts happen during our peak times, causing us to lose income.
Back up generators power lights and cash points, but the erratic disruptions of power have damaged two of our compressors for air conditioners forcing us to fork out P16, 000 for repairs”, disclosed Clint France, a Trainee manager.
Bonjour filling station spokesperson said they have watched their sales dwindle week after week.
“Since these power cuts started our sales have gone down both from fuel and the kiosk. Milk and other dairy products spoil before expiry dates.
Today I have written off six 1 litre bottles of fresh milk. Without power everything comes to a standstill , we can’t fuel customers cars, all we do is to direct customers elsewhere, and watch as they take their money somewhere else,” decried Rosemary Jacobs(35) , the site manager of the filling station which does not have a generator.
In order to stay in business the management of the Total franchise installed a generator that now powers the eight pump filling station.
“ At least we are able to operate as normal and sell between 83 and 100 litres on a good day”, said confident Jacobs.
Liquor sellers were not spared either as the lack of electricity has forced them to sell hot beer.
“Power cuts always catch us off guard, our computers at till points get messed up and stop working for a while.
Also during power cuts some dishonest customers leave the shop without paying or throw cans or bottles of beer in their bags.
This is why you find us stock taking because numbers are not tallying.” disclosed Tebogo Tshenyegelo, manger of Liquorama outlet at The Village Mall.
Meanwhile sales for generators have steadily scaled up in some shops over the last few months.
Haskins Francistown Branch manager, Fred Keabetswe said “ We have had a significant increase in the number of generators sold. The sales have been high since November till last month,”.
BPC spokesperson, Spencer Moreri assured the nation that the corporation is working round the clock to ensure all units of Morupule B are commissioned within the first quarter of this year.
“ Not only that but Morupule A is being refurbished.
These are our internal plans in place to have our very our own sustainable source of electricity instead of just depending on South Africa.”Moreri said.