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Load Shedding And How South Africans Can Avoid Eskom’s Blackouts


Whether you’re reading this by candlelight, or on the soft glimmer of a phone screen that’s about to run out of battery, you’ll be fully aware that Eskom has put load shedding back on the menu for South Africans this week. Thursday marks the second day of Stage 2 power cuts, which come into force at 9:00 and will last until 23:00.

What has caused load-shedding this week?

What’s gone wrong, we hear you ask? Well, pretty much everything from multiple boiler leaks to broken conveyor belts. The new build at Medupi is causing problems, as Eskom’s private diesel and water levels have started running low. The blackouts have the potential to last through the weekend.

But load shedding doesn’t have to be all-consuming. Yes, having our electricity supply majorly disrupted is nothing short of a bummer. But there are ways to limit the effects, and avoid some of the more frustrating elements of our grid going offline. We’ve got the best suggestions here…

Best ways to avoid load shedding in South Africa

Live in a city with extra generational capacity

Cape Town and its residents were the least-affected metro-dwellers in the country on Wednesday. That’s because they’ve boosted their local grid with the Steenbras Hydroelectric Dam.

City-supplied residents and businesses experienced Stage 1 load-shedding, instead of the countrywide impact of Stage 2. This means they had less frequent and shorter periods without power. While that may be great for the first few days, an extended period of blackouts would eventually see the City forced to comply with Eskom’s recommendations.

Source options to produce your own energy

Investing in your own generators and solar panels might set you back in terms of cash, but if you cannot function without electricity, these are two of your best options. These features are able to supply homes with their own energy supply, essentially taking an individual off of Eskom’s grid – therefore, you would avoid any implementation of load shedding.

Create your own “electricity hacks”

We’ve got a few tips and tricks you can follow to ensure that load shedding does very little to disrupt your day. You might want to wait until payday to go on this anti-Eskom shopping spree, though:

  • Buy yourself a gas or camping stove. They don’t rely on the electricity supply, meaning you can cook uninterrupted.
  • Illuminate your house with lanterns, torches and battery-operated lights to depend less on electric features.
  • It’s also a good idea to buy in-car chargers: We all need our phones to function, and this route bypasses the reliance on Eskom.
  • Use empty plastic cool drink bottles and fill them with water and place in your deep freeze – you can take them out and put them in your fridge to keep food cold until the power comes back on.
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