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Gatvol of load-shedding? Here are five ways to deal with it, and how much it will cost you

It isn’t clear if there will be load-shedding on Sunday, but Monday will apparently give South Africans a much-needed break from the outages

26 October 2021 - 12:30
Eskom has extended load-shedding to Saturday.
Eskom has extended load-shedding to Saturday.
Image: Mark Wessels

South Africans will have to endure more days in the dark after Eskom announced load-shedding will continue until Saturday.

The power utility announced on Tuesday morning that it had hit a wobble in returning some power stations to service.

It isn’t clear if there will be load-shedding on Sunday, but Monday will apparently give South Africans a much-needed break from the outages.

Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer said the power utility will work with the Electoral Commission (IEC) to prevent power disruptions during the local government elections. 

With so much uncertainty around load-shedding, here are five ways you can beat it and how much this could cost you. 

1. Get a generator or let the sun do you a favour

A UPS, known as an uninterruptible power supply or uninterruptible power source, can sustain electronic equipment for up to eight hours. The cheapest UPS costs R800 and a petrol generator could set you back R2,000 for the cheapest one. 

The cheapest solar panel is R1,125, plus you will need an invertor and batteries, taking that figure to over R2,000. 

Load-shedding could damage devices such as fridges, stoves and TVs. Load-shedding protector plugs protect your appliances from fluctuations in voltage levels that happen during load-shedding. A single one costs R728. 

2. Share a hotspot — and keep your boss happy

Your signal may not the best when there is load-shedding, but this doesn’t mean your workday has to end. You can buy backup data and hotspot your work phone and laptop — depending on your choice of service provider and package choices.

1GB of data costs R99 on MTN and R65 on Cell C. 1.2GB of data costs R85 on Vodacom. 1.5 GB retails for R139 at Telkom. 

3. Visit a friend 

Thanks to some mobile apps, you can check which areas have load-shedding and plan accordingly. If you really can’t stand the inconvenience that comes with it, you can drive to a friend’s place — but be ready to cough up R18.34 per litre of petrol. 

4. Make every night a candlelit dinner

Candles, torches, lamps and LED lights come in handy on those dark nights. Candles are the most cost-effective item. A pack of 36 costs R199, just make sure to teach the little ones about fire safety. 

5. Make darkness your old friend and wait it out

If you want to spare expenses, you can sit in the darkness and wait for load-shedding to end.

If you want to splurge, store boiled water in hot water bottles or Thermos flasks for hot drinks. Hot water bottles are the most cost-effective option at R99.