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Load shedding – how to cope and thrive

Liezl Hesketh in Life skills 


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What to do when the lights go out

Load shedding is becoming a way of life here in South Africa. It’s annoying, but it can be survived.

The Practical Side of Load Shedding

Start stocking up on diesel – for the generator, torches and a supply of batteries, candles and matches. Make sure that every bedside table, in every bedroom, has a torch and spare batteries inside. Kids can be terrified when it happens suddenly. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to make it more of an adventure:

  • You could stick a large glowing moon wall sticker up, and paint luminous stars on the ceiling.
  • You can get even more artistic and use luminous paint to create an enchanted forest on the walls.
  • There are also lights that could sit on their bedside tables that are easy to switch on. All your child has to do is push the top and their room will be filled with light. These lights can also be wall mounted, which is a good idea for the bathroom. Their size, at least that of an adult’s hand, makes them easy to find by anyone half asleep in the middle of the night.

If you can afford one, your generator will become your best friend and you may want to consider getting a gas geyser. Not only will that mean you’ll always have hot water but your electricity bill will drop. Which almost seems to be an oxymoron when talking about load shedding.

Load shedding schedules are a bit like the Pirate Code – more of a guideline than anything else, which is why it’s a good idea to be prepared. Returning power can be quite forceful, so much in fact that it could fry the engines of some appliances. To avoid this unplug your fridge, stove, microwave, sensitive electrical equipment like your computer, anything that would be costly to replace. If you were using the stove, gas heater, or range when the power went off, turn the appliance off. Only switch them on again once the power has returned.

But, of course, we can all do our bit  – find out how to save electricity.

The Romantic Side of Load Shedding

There’s no doubt about it, softly glowing candles are very romantic. Having dinner, a bath, playing board games, or curled up in a comfy armchair reading a book are all touched with a magic brush when done by candlelight. But candles can also be dangerous. Never have them in kids’ rooms and always be very careful if you have animals as they can knock them over easily. Never go to sleep with one still alight. Load shedding’s a great way to reconnect with family and yourself. You’ll find you can survive without “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” You’ll discover there’s a whole new world if you get out of the house, lie on a rug in the garden and watch the Milky Way spin slowly across the velvet night sky. The best thing about load shedding is the city lights no longer interfere with the night sky.

And if you really like the idea of star gazing and would like to learn more, check out South Africa’s Top 10 stargazing spots about what you can see

Let TheRoomLink help you find the best place to watch the stars from. Contact us for the best and most affordable accommodation in South Africa – complete a Renter’s Profile and these properties will find their way to you!

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