JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Seventy of South Africa’s KFC restaurants had to recently close, and 10 million chickens had to be destroyed because of the rolling power blackouts South Africa is suffering, according to the South African Poultry Association.
South African businesses and homes have power cuts for up to 10 hours every day, paralyzing cities like Johannesburg and having a devastating effect on an already weak economy. In the past six weeks particularly, the country’s poultry association claims the number of chickens slaughtered and prepared for consumption has had to be reduced because of continual power cuts.
Izaak Breitenbach the association’s general manager told local media that “We simply can’t cope anymore, and we fall behind,” he continued “and then we see what we’ve seen with KFC: a shortage of chicken.”
KFC reported they have been able to reopen their restaurants and are currently getting enough chicken. However, other restaurant chains, including the South African fast food chain Nando’s, said the power cuts are affecting chicken production and deliveries to restaurants. “From our perspective it has put us under enormous pressure,” Geoff Whyte, CEO of Africa, Middle East and Asia for Nando’s said in a statement reported by local media.
Cyril Ramaphosa, currently the country’s president, said back in 2015, when he was in a more minor position, that he would have the problem of power cuts, which he euphemistically called “load shedding,” eliminated within months. He has repeated that claim several times. However, the cuts, nationally, are now worse and more frequent than ever.
Analysts point out that this issue only started after some politicians from the ruling ANC party and electricity officials were put in high places in return for their support for the party – “deployed” the ANC calls it openly,…