Your load-shedding survival guide

As South Africa is plummeted into darkness by the reality we have come to know as load-shedding, here are a few tips that'll help you make the most of your three to four hours without electricity

13 February 2019 - 00:00 By Sanet Oberholzer
Get those candles out, we're in for another bout of load-shedding.
Get those candles out, we're in for another bout of load-shedding.
Image: 123RF/anikasalsera


As the saying goes, "prevention is better than cure". Using this logic, the effects of load-shedding can be mitigated when you're able to plan ahead. For example, when you know it's about to hit, you can charge laptops, phones and other gadgets ahead of time.

In case the Eskom load-shedding website crashes (again), download the handy app EskomSePush. Hailed by many as the best load-shedding app around, it's fairly accurate and sends you push notifications whenever a power outage is expected. EskomSePush is available for download on both Apple and Android - visit


If load-shedding struck when you didn’t expect it and you have an urgent work e-mail to send, or kids to entertain, this little device can offer immense relief by powering all sorts of gadgets.


Are you a caffeine addict in need of a fix? Kettles and coffee machines obviously don’t function without electricity, so a flask is handy to keep water warm for hours on end in an emergency - as long as you remember to boil and store the water ahead of time.


Regular takeaways are not particularly healthy, nor very friendly on your budget. If you're not fortunate enough to have a gas stove, consider some alternatives instead of having to resort to your nearest fast-food chain whenever the power goes out. 

Rather than cooking just enough food for a single meal, increase your quantities to ensure there'll be leftovers. That way you'll have a ready-to-eat meal for the following day - just remember to warm it up before the power goes out! 

Orzo and roasted pepper salad.
Orzo and roasted pepper salad.
Image: Craig Scott

Don't want to eat the same thing two days in a row? Cook enough pasta for two meals, then serve half of it as a hot dish and leave the rest for a pasta salad that can be served cold. Try these delicious pasta salad recipes:

If all else fails in the cooking department, you can always resort to a braai, that timeless South African favourite.  


If you can't beat them … get comfortable and make the most of your three to four hours without electricity. Take the time to catch up with your loved ones over a bottle of wine or unwind with a candlelit bubble bath – provided you've kept your geyser on during the day.

SA has suffered yet another day of consecutive power cuts caused by major problems at the main energy supplier Eskom. The government has only recently announced plans to split up the state-owned entity, but potential job cuts has made that unpopular with unions.