The so-called “load shedding” is impacting the manufacturing of frozen French fries in South Africa, causing a shortage at some retailers and restaurants, according to a report by News24. Load shedding in the country refers to an ongoing period of widespread national blackouts of electricity supply. It began in 2007 and continues to the present, taking a toll on businesses.
The rolling blackouts are attributed to insufficient generation capacity as well as corruption and mismanagement of the government-owned national power utility.
McCain Foods is one of the largest producers of frozen French fries in South Africa. The company indicated to News24 this week that, due to load shedding, it can not process frozen French fries at the usual capacity. It is aware of shortages at some retail stores. It also has to supply large fast-food chains.
According to Willie Jacobs, CEO of Potatoes SA, however, there is currently no shortage in volumes of frozen French fries offered to consumers.
But Fred Hume, managing director of Hume International, a major importer of frozen food to South Africa, claims the SA market is facing a shortage of French fries – and the reasons include a local shortage of optimal varieties for producing the fries, and load shedding.
“We have reliably been informed that at least one major local producer is working ‘short time’. Prices are now around three times higher than pre-Covid-19,” says Hume.
Source: News24. Read the full story here
Related: Load Shedding: What Is It and Why Is It Affecting South Africa?
Photo: Courtesy and credit McCain Foods