With load shedding becoming a daily occurrence, leaving locals quite literally powerless and in the dark for several days on end, we have created a list of handy tips to survive the power cuts.
Unconfirmed reports that Eskom and the national government may be planning for “Stage 5 and Stage 6” load shedding has caused much concern among locals. In the midst of this dark situation, a few changes and items can make all the difference when it comes to coping with lengthy outages.
Here are a few ways to make load shedding manageable:
1. Download series or movies ahead of time
For those movie and series buffs who cannot go a week without watching the latest episode of that new sitcom or mystery murder, downloading shows and flicks prior to load shedding will allow you to have a binge-watching session without the need for internet or electricity (if your laptop has lasting battery power, that is).
Popular movie- and series-streaming platform Netflix has advice on how to download shows on cellphones and tablets. Downloading onto your phone means that you have a back-up if your laptop’s battery doesn’t last long and you can watch your show uninterrupted.
??THIS IS A PSA ??
You can download movies & series to watch when load shedding hits.
1 Download the Netflix app (cell phone or tablet)
2 Open the app
3 Type in the name of the show/movie in the search bar
4 Hit Download (it’s the ⬇️ on the right)
RT to save a life
— Netflix South Africa (@NetflixSA) March 19, 2019
2. Get a power bank or chargeable phone cover
There is nothing worse than finding your cellphone only has 5% of battery power left just when the electricity is about to go off. An alternative charging device is a power bank, but it must be charged before a power-out to be a viable option.
Other inventive charging devices include a chargeable phone cover, which switches on when the device’s battery is low. This can also apply to charging laptops and tablet devices prior to the electrical cuts.
— Phindi (@peendie) March 19, 2019
3. Look to alternative and temporary lighting
There are all sorts of alternative forms of lighting available on the market, from solar-power console jars and wind-up torches, to more innovative options such as rechargeable lightbulbs.
Be sure to charge any solar-powered lighting mechanisms before an evening power-outage. Stock up on candles, lighters or matches, torches and/or alternative lighting methods.
— W A N D E R L U S T (@j_sampz) March 19, 2019
4. Have some board games handy
Whether you are a fan of scrabble or monopoly, a power cut gives you the perfect opportunity to dig out the board games from the cupboard and get the whole family involved. It may seem old-fashioned, but can be a great (as well as social) way to pass the time, no laptop or iPhone needed.
It may also spark some competitiveness between family members, which is always fun – even if it is the only spark during the dark nights.
5. Braai or use gas stoves
South Africans love a good braai, and load shedding is the perfect excuse to have one. A cold beer and some vleis are sure to brighten dark moods during the second power cut of the day.
If all else fails, purchasing a gas stove can save you the hassle of worrying about how you’ll make supper or lunch.
Another option is preparing meals before hadn’t to ensure that you don’t have to eat Ouma rusks again for dinner.
Once you’re sorted for your meals, you can try and appreciate the evenings of dining by candlelight – there’s no denying it’s romantic, after all.
6. Draw cash while the power is still on
Make sure that you have some cash on you when visiting the nearest store during load shedding as ATM machines do not operate during power cuts.
7. Avoid nuisance tripping
Nuisance tripping occurs when load shedding ends in an area but the electricity fails to come back on. This can be avoided by switching off all electrical appliances prior to load shedding.
8. Invest in a generator
Although costly and noisy, generators ensure that you have an alternative source of electricity during power-outages. This can be useful for those who work from home or for small businesses.
Generators can cost anything from R2 500 upwards and can be scaled to supply electricity to just a few appliances or to a whole household.
9. Keep the fridge cool during power cuts
Items in the fridge can be kept cool with iced bottles, which you can make by filling empty containers or bottles with water and placing them in the freezer. These will keep your groceries cool and fresh and keep them from spoiling.