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Loadshedding: counting the cost

Jun 2, 2022

Loadshedding: counting the costSouth Africans are counting the cost of loadshedding – and it is significant. These are the findings of a survey conducted by InfoQuest/TrendER, a leading South African online research company.

The survey interviewed 300 respondents, nationally representative of the online population, 18 years and older, across all provinces in South Africa.

Almost 60% of respondents had at least one of their home appliances damaged or destroyed due to power surges as a result of loadshedding. About half had lost the contents of their fridge at least once.

One in four respondents claim that their home-operated business has been adversely affected. Of particular concern is that about one in ten have had a home invasion while their alarms have been inactive as a result of having no electricity.

All of this has had a negative impact on the personal finances of consumers.

In addition to having to repair or replace household items, consumers are also having to finance ways of keeping the power on in their homes. 17% have purchased a generator, 16% have invested in solar power (to all or part of their home), and 14% have bought an inverter. Just over half (55%) of respondents have bought a gas stove to ensure that they can still do basic cooking.

Consumers’ expectations for the future of loadshedding are pessimistic, with 55% believing that it will get worse.

Positive consequence of loadshedding?

Parents with children under 18 years old were asked what their children do when the power goes off and there’s no access to Wi-Fi. Perhaps loadshedding does have some socially positive outcomes, with 51% stating that their children socialise with family members during outages.

Other positive activities were: reading (29%), playing outside (40%), doing homework/studying (34%), and going for a walk (11%). One in four children do nothing when the power goes out, but simply wait for the power to be restored, while 21% tend to sulk.

Clearly, we are having to dip deep into our pockets to alleviate some of the consequences and challenges of loadshedding, putting greater financial strain on families in an already difficult economic environment.

This post was based on a press release issued on behalf of InfoQuest/TrendER.

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Maya Fisher-French author of Money Questions Answered

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