From cafes to beauticians: How load shedding takes a toll on small businesses

In the five years since Corner Cafe opened its doors a few metres away from the South African Parliament building in Cape Town’s central business district, it has become a popular meeting place for politicians, researchers and other locals. But less than two years after the Covid-19 pandemic flattened business in the area and led to many closing shops, Prisca Horonga, the cafe’s owner, who works up to 12 hours and employs three people, says it is facing another existential crisis.

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