KFC is temporarily closing some of its fried-chicken outlets in South Africa due to power cuts imposed by state electricity provider Eskom.
The Yum! Brands Inc. chain made the decision after the number of blackout days passed 200 this year, a record. Eskom supplies more than 90% of South Africa’s electricity and has implemented nationwide power cuts, known locally as load shedding, to prevent the grid from total collapse.
The government has awarded bailouts to the highly indebted utility and has said it will take over as much as two-thirds of its nearly R400 billion debt.
KFC, which has around 750 restaurants in South Africa, is not the first major company to say power cuts are a hindrance to productivity in the country.
MTN Group Ltd. and Vodacom Group Ltd., the two biggest mobile-phone companies, have also cited blackouts as a disruptor of business operations and a source of additional costs, due to the need for back-up equipment such as batteries and generators.
Yum!, based in Louisville, Kentucky, owns and franchises more than 25 000 KFC outlets worldwide. The company’s other brands include Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
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