Consumers face chicken shortages and price increases

South African consumers will face more expensive chicken, and possibly also shortages, if national power cuts continue at high levels.

The warning comes from Izaak Breitenbach of the SA Poultry Association (SAPA). He told Radio 702 that the power outages, known as load shedding, had become a longer-term problem.

If the outages continued at high levels such as happened recently, with eight or 12 hours a day of power outages disrupting round-the clock production, there would be chicken shortages in the wholesale and retail markets. 

Price increases would also become a reality. At the moment producers were absorbing the increased costs incurred through load shedding, but those higher costs would eventually have to be passed on to the consumer, Breitenbach said.