The impact of electricity insecurity on women-owned small businesses in South Africa amid spiralling COVID-19 pandemic

  • Kola O. Odeku
Keywords: Electricity; Women-Owned Small Businesses; Electricity Outages; COVID-19 pandemic; Accessibility; Affordability; Peri-urban communities; South Africa.


Electricity plays a significant role in many aspects of human endeavors and as such, it should always be readily available. To this end, there should always be unrestricted access to electricity at all times, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown which had forced people to stay at home to curb the spread of the virus. This paper accentuates the significance of electricity for businesses, especially Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) such as small scale restaurants, sole cloth sewing outfits, hair stylists and hair salon in the peri-urban communities, informal settlements, townships and the rural areas in South Africa amid the pandemic. Majority of these businesses use electricity to operate and run their businesses but the spiral COVID-19 pandemic has forced mobility restrictions hence customers and clients were unable to patronize the businesses and as such owners have become destitute, unable to operate and earn incomes. The paper found that electricity outages and price hikes are some of the major impediments to unhindered access to affordable electricity by the Women-Owned Small Businesses WOSB mainly because the pandemic had forced stringent lockdowns at different stages, disabled all business ventures and small businesses have been hardest hit in South Africa.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9231