Power outages/loadshedding and strikes: Engineering company owners exasperated

Company owners, directors and managers have been expressing their frustration on the social medium platform of LinkedIn. This is what they had to say in response to the initial post below.

“One of our suppliers went out of business today and all due to two PREVENTABLE things:
1. Power outages (“loadshedding”)
2. Strikes (Sibanye/Numsa)

Forget about the position it puts our business in (it’s not great)… our supplier employed 50 people, had a passionate and dedicated leadership, solid reputation and have been forced to make this call to ensure their staff get a good retrenchment package. Manufacturing in South Africa has never been harder. We have to deal with things the rest of the world does not, making manufacturing in South Africa so incredibly hard. It could be so much easier and we could build a sector of huge value to the South African economy. Please Cyril Ramaphosa, intervene and assist. It’s actually tragic how many jobs are being lost.”

“This is becoming a sad reality with covid, loadshedding, strikes and now the fuel hikes. We are being greatly failed by our government, as no assertive effort has been made to alleviate job losses.”

“The current situation in SA is just not sustainable. Businesses are the life blood of our economy, and unfortunately the state is doing nothing to build a favourable economic environment.”

“It’s getting harder to be optimistic without feeling idealistic… it’s very worrying…”

“Unfortunately Cyril doesn’t care Mate…there is no hope until ANC is out of rule….look at the statistics of non-growth in SA, Crime, Services, Municipal, Health Systems, Environmental Waste and, and, and. HATE BEING NEGATIVE….but the Best move we did was leave SA.”

“Tragic – the multiplier effect on the downside is massive.”

“It is very sad that the Unions especially NUMSA do not look after the best interests of their members.”

“The steel sector is particularly challenging. Cost curves way ahead of growth, skill and labour issues, power issues, raw material issues. Government does nothing to help. This is reflected in the commercial property market, vacant manufacturing facilities everywhere.”

“Not 50 people that lost employment, closer to 300 people losing the means to survive.”

“Unfortunately this is a sad reality. Hence we are in the process of relocation of manufacturing to Mauritius. Not what we wanted but unfortunately left with no option.”

“Our economy is in a sad state. The JSE does not reflect the true damage. This week one of my mother’s suppliers also closed due to the exact same reason. It was a woman owned business baking a South African traditional koeksuster 35+ year old company.”

“Tragic to read this – heart goes out to the supplier and their staff. Unfortunately the current regime are not interested in / not capable of doing everything it takes to protect and create jobs – despite the lip service. My only positive thought is that despite these challenges – South Africans are beyond resilient – and survive the most challenging of environments.”

“Well said. Strong businesses are being put in a dire situation and it is completely out of their control.”

“The manufacturing sector is employing millions of people but none of them can function due to the reasons you give.”

“How devastating. I have a good friend whose business has suffered millions due to power outages for over 20 days. Halted manufacturing. Unacceptable. Something must be done. So, so, sorry.”

“It is a real challenge especially for small businesses. When you manufacture loadshedding is not just a two-and-a-half-hour impact. Plant has to shut down and then be restarted which can sometimes mean half a day lost. Lost production can only be made up with overtime, which adds cost and still causes delays. This has a ripple effect to resellers and retailers. And then we have the threat of a national shutdown, which won’t help the man in the street, just leave every worse off.”

These statements and replies say it all about the current thoughts of many South Africans.