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S.Africa's Nestle unit to import baby formula as energy cuts hurt
May 14, 2015 / 4:06 PM / 3 years ago

S.Africa's Nestle unit to import baby formula as energy cuts hurt

CAPE TOWN, May 14 (Reuters) - Swiss food group Nestle is eyeing baby formula imports from Europe and Asia as ongoing power outages curb output at its South African factories, a spokesman said on Thursday.

South Africa is in the midst of a chronic power shortage, resulting in almost daily blackouts to residents and companies as power utility Eskom struggles to keep the lights on.

Nestle’s factories in South Africa make consumer goods like baby milk powder, coffee creamer and instant noodles.

“To avoid shortages we are implementing precautionary measures that include importing from other Nestlé operations,” spokesman Ravi Pillay said.

“Our current stock levels are not at optimum levels due disruptions caused by operational and infrastructural challenges, including electricity.”

The baby food shortages were mentioned in parliament on Wednesday by a government official who spoke with Nestle about the impact regular power outages was having on production, including at its infant nutrition factory.

South Africa can expect three more years of power cuts, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said on Thursday, as Eskom struggles with the worst outages since 2008 that have hobbled key mining and manufacturing sectors. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by James Macharia)

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