Survivors Guide for Loadshedding: 6 Nifty Gadgets for Under R1 000 That Will Help You Get Through the Blackout

Survivors Guide for Loadshedding: 6 Nifty Gadgets for Under R1 000 That Will Help You Get Through the Blackout

The dark times keep coming in Mzansi as loadshedding has become a standard feature in almost all South African households. After enduring approximately 150 days of rolling blackout in 2023 alone, citizens have had to get creative about how to be less dependent on Eskom during loadshedding.

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The increase in loadshedding means South Africans have had to get creative to adapt to rolling blackouts
With loadshedding becoming a daily occurrence in South Africa, citizens have had to opt for gadgets and alternatives to survive when Eskom takes power away. Image: Aninka Bongers & Shiraaz Mohamed
Source: Getty Images

Briefly News has compiled a list of six nifty gadgets that will help you survive loadshedding for under R1 000.

1. Mini solar panels that won't break the bank

Mini solar panels come in handy when you need to charge tour cellphone and other portable devices during loadshedding
Mini solar panels can be used to charge cellphones and other portable devices during loadshedding. Image: Stock photo
Source: Getty Images

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Many South Africans who can afford it have opted to install solar panels in their homes to get them 100% of the grid. However, solar panels come at a pretty price and can break the bank.

Enter the mini solar panel, a cheaper alternative that won't get you off the grid but will go a long way to make the powerless hours feel less frustrating.

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When the mini panels are exposed to sunlight, the photovoltaic cells in the panel absorb energy from the sun. The absorbed energy is then transferred to the semiconductor, where an electric field is created and turned into electricity, Indiatimes reported.

The mini panels can charge cell phones, laptops and other small portable devices.

South Africans can get their hands on a 1.8W mini solar panel for as little as R149 from Makro or size up and get a 20W panel from Takealot for R300.

2. Solar lighting systems keep the darkness at bay

Arguably one of the most frustrating things about rolling backouts is spending hours sitting in the dark when loadshedding happens in the evening.

Luckily, retailers have come to the rescue by stocking an assortment of lights that stay on even when Eskom cuts the electricity.

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Solar lights count as one of these nifty contraptions. Dutch technology company Phillips said solar-powered LED lighting systems are the best way to say goodbye to darkness in the evening and costly electricity bills.

Similar to mini solar panels, the solar lighting system harnesses the power of the sun. There are a variety of solar lighting systems on the South African market. Builders has some up for grabs from R649.95 each.

3. Power bank - remote work must-have

Power banks can be used to keep devices like laptops charged during loadshedding
Whether used to keep up with work or keep you entertained during loadshedding, power banks come in handy to keep laptops charged. Image: Stock photo
Source: Getty Images

People who work from home can attest to how loadshedding really puts a dampener on the day when there are deadlines to meet.

While many offices have resorted to installing alternate power sources, not everyone can afford to have that luxury in their households.

Power banks are vital to ensure your devices stay on during power outages.

A reasonably-sized power bank can charge laptops and other portable devices. HifiCorp has a 100W power bank for sale at R999.

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According to the retailer, the lithium-ion battery power bank can charge up to two devices for hours on end.

4. Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) - stay connected during loadshedding

While power banks come in handy to keep your favourite devices charged, UPSs help keep you connected to the internet.

The gadget can be plugged into your wifi and LTE router and, depending on the size of the machine, can keep you connected long after the scheduled power outage ends.

You can get your hands on a mini UPS for as little as R549, while a bigger system could set you back R880.

5. Gas stoves - stave off the loadshedding hunger pangs

One and two burner gas stoves make preparing food during loadshedding easier
Investing in a cost-effective gas stove will make preparing meals during loadshedding hassle-free. Image: Stock photos
Source: Getty Images

When loadshedding comes around, preparing a hearty meal is nearly impossible. This has resulted in many South Africans spending their hard-earned money on takeaways and at restaurants, which has left dieticians concerned about the country's eating habits, News24 reported.

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Investing in a gas stove can take some loadshedding stress away as it will allow you to make a meal while the electricity is out.

While opting for a large gas hob may break the bank, there are still many cost-effective options available.

There are two-burner tabletop gas stoves available that cost between R399 to R799, depending on which retailer you visit.

If you're in the market for something even more affordable, a single-burner gas stove is also available from as little as R199 to R439.

Gas cylinders aren't included when the stoves are purchased, so you'll have to budget for them on the side.

6. Safeguard your devices and appliances with a surge protector

It often happens that when Eskom turns the power back on, massive surges or voltage spikes occur, which have the potential to cause irreparable damage to appliances and devices plugged in.

While household insurance may cover damage caused by a loadshedding-related power surge, Moneywed reported that SA's biggest insurers are no longer offering cover for total grid failure.

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So it's high time South Africans seriously consider protecting their household appliances. This is where the surge protector comes in.

A surge protector that can accommodate up to three devices retails at R149,95. A surge arrester which can be plugged directly into the circuit breaker can be bought for as little as R340.

Pravin Gordhan says South Africans should settle for an entire year of loadshedding, Mzansi wants the ANC out

South Africans must learn to live with rolling blackouts for the entire year. This is according to Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan.

During his department’s budget vote speech in Parliament on Tuesday, 23 May, Gordhan stated that ending loadshedding will likely happen in March 2024, reports SABC News.

“We now know as a population and as an economy to settle for loadshedding of a significant order until the end of the year at least," said Gordhan.

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Source: Briefly News

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