The spread of Covid-19 throughout 2020, the second wave and the emergence of a new virus variation was enough to wreak havoc on the city’s economy, yet Eskom did not make matters easy with various implementations of stage two and three load shedding.

How Level 3 Lockdown Has Impacted Johannesburg

Data collected from various industries in December has, unsurprisingly, shown several sectors that were battered by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions, imposed to curb the spread of the virus.

Numerous tourist destinations in and around the City of Johannesburg showed sharp decreases in visitors over the peak tourism season, with the data confirming the devastating state of tourism as well as hospitality in some of the most visited areas of the city, where tourists, both national and international, would have flocked over the festive season says Louis Schoeman from investment platform – SA Shares.

Passenger data displayed how passenger recovery at the international terminal of O.R. Tambo for December was much lower than volumes recorded for December 2019, with aircraft operating at only 51% of their passenger load factors.

covid load shedding joburg

Load Shedding & Its Impact On Johannesburg

After Eskom’s call to implement load shedding across the country, severe and negative impacts were witnessed across the country, particularly to businesses. Amidst these businesses, Johannesburg saw substantial impacts to the economy along with several projects and initiatives which were affected.

The sustainable water supply and sanitation was affected with electricity needed to pump water from reservoirs into various towers across the city.

Residents were urged to ensure that they have sufficient water to last the duration of outages. In addition, one of the biggest utilities which depends on power supply from Eskom, City Power, shouldered massive blows as operational staff were overstretched and constantly on standby with the restoration of power grids and the after-effects of load shedding.

covid load shedding joburg

Certain areas of Johannesburg such as the Northern areas, experienced extended outages as consequence of substations tripping following load shedding, with these having to be restored. City Power experienced backlogs which stood at R170 billion in addition to a weakening power system.

With the cumulative impacts of both lockdown and load shedding, many small businesses in Johannesburg who were unable to work around tight and extended schedules, were unable to recover, even those who had access to relief funding were not able to shoulder the heavy blows, with many businesses closing their doors permanently, while others took to e-commerce as an avenue for recovery.

The best that City Power could offer, was to try and reassure residents and business owners in the city, along with promises that resources would be made available as best possible to counter the challenges that load shedding brought, with budgets allocated to address maintenance backlogs, and promises for refurbishment and implementation of an improved bulk infrastructure.

I know, no one ever necessarily sits and decides that they are going to write article about candles, but here I am writing away about the best candle spots.

Trust me when I say candles go a long way, and before we start thinking in our South African ways of how they can get you through all the load shedding. Yes! They can most certainly do that however we are about to go to the depths of why you might need good candles and the benefits of buying a specific kind for every occasion.

Sparking A Confession

In all honesty, being the incurable romantic that I am; I find that candles are the best thing ever to really set the mood for almost anything depending on what kind of candles you use. I feel like something as small as using the wrong colour can put you off theme (sounds like science I know, but reality is some candles just do not accommodate a beautiful candlelit dinner).

Now, let's go to a few places in Johannesburg that offer a wide and unique set you can use for different kinds of occasions. I'm talking domestic, candlelight dinner, meditating or even aromatherapy to enhance fragrant in the house, your wedding and many more. I could ramble all day about it so let's check these spots out...


Soy Lites

Soy Lites is absolutely awesome, with an offering that will have you seeing everything from a different light. LOL!

You can probably find any candle you are looking for here, they boast with a creative bunch that includes their versatile aromatherapy range. This one in particular, has something fruity, drops of citrus in some, herbal, floral - it's refreshing really.

They have amazing sets that are perfect for gifting.


Candle Makers

The words 'Candle Makers' alone is enough to let you know that they are good at what they are doing.

They have a wide variety including the super cute scented wax melts and holders. They have a lot of accessories that you need to accompany your candles. This is definitely the spot to visit when you are preparing for that romantic dinner.

Here's a cherry on top - you can create your own masterpiece, with a massive fourteen colours to choose from; you might end up making something rainbow coloured.


Yankee Candles

'Yankee' is probably the most well known candle spot around and I think after seeing their candles you, you will understand why.

They have a wide range from the classics to decor with the added aromatherapy plus, car lovers are going to love this - they also have car fragrants.

With all that said, we have seen how important the right candle is, so don't go using your aromatherapy set for load shedding (unless desperate times call for desperate measures).

Understand The Load Shedding Stages

Let's be honest, when we hear them announce that we'll be going through load shedding stage 4, most of us are not too sure what that even means. So, to help you better understand the stages, we've listed them here. If you know what they mean, great! Just skip this and carry on with the rest of your load shedding prep below.

Four schedules have been formed, based on the level of risk and to ensure that load shedding shared and done in a fair manner:

Download A Load Shedding App

There are a handful of load shedding apps out there, but what we have noticed that not many of them are accurate. So far, the one that seems to be hitting the nail right on the head regarding load shedding schedules is Load Shedding Notifier. It's rather simple - just download it (Google Play), add and set various zones that will be affecting you (home, work, other family households, etc) and you're ready to be notified. There's also the Eskom Se Push app if you're looking to use and compare multiple schedule sources. Another great way to keep on top of the load shedding schedule is joining community Facebook pages if your suburb has one.

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Fully Charge All Devices 

Since you have downloaded a load shedding app, you'll now know when to expect your next black out. With this is mind, make sure that you fully charge all of your devices - laptops, tablets, phones, Kindles, everything that can be charged - before the set times of your zone load shedding. That way, you don't need to worry about flat batteries and being bored while you wait for the hours of darkness to pass.

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Homeowners, Consider Buying A Generator

Own your own property? Don't live in an apartment or flat? Then why not consider investing in a generator? Yes, they're noisy. Yes, they'll cost a some moola to run (most use petrol). And yes, they do cost a pretty penny (easily between R2 000 - R10 000 depending on size, wattage and fuel tank capacity) BUT at least you won't be sitting in the dark and you'll have a power source than can be used for many years to come. Most home and hardware outlets will stock generators, so make sure you head to Builders, Game, Leroy Merlin and Takealot. Don't forget to pick up a few extension leads and adapters to "share the love". Another source of power that's more environmentally friendly than the generators is solar power. This seems to be becoming more popular in recent times.

Tip: Keep a few Jerry Cans filled with "liquid gold" stored in the garage. Generators can guzzle through litres of petrol depending on how much power you use, so be sure to have some extra on standby.

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Stock Up On Lighting Alternatives

If you cannot get a generator or simply just don't want to spend a small fortune, there's always the old-fashioned candles, flashlights and lanterns. Just don't forget to get matches, a lighter or batteries while you're at it or else this option is just not going to work! Candles, flashlights, batteries and lighters/matches can be bought practically anywhere - Checkers, Spar, Game, Shoprite, Pick n Pay - but as for the lanterns and light adapters, you can find them at any outdoor or hardware outlets. Also, it wouldn't hurt to install a few solar outdoor lights to light up your garden a little bit (just as an added safety measure).

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Replace Electrical Appliances With Gas

There's nothing more frustrating than not being able to get dinner on the table due to load shedding. No power, no microwave, no stove, no kettle, nothing. But there is an alternative - gas stoves. Just like a generator, this option doesn't come cheap, but it's a good investment. A little too expensive? Then why not buy a portable stove top that you can connect to the generator? Again, check out Builders, Game, Leroy Merlin and Takealot for those stove tops. Have neither? Not to worry! You can always grab some charcoal, fire up the braai and tuck into some braaivleis. Or even make a potjie. Also important: if you get a gas stove, don't forget to get a stove top kettle, that's a lifesaver!

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Power Banks Are Lifesavers

Since we are in the day and age where we use our cell phones for absolutely everything - alarm clocks, contacting people, checking load shedding schedules, ordering takeout, entertainment purposes, GPS, the flashlight function, etc - it's essential that its battery life lasts. To ensure it does, get your hands on a power bank, charge it and have it on standby. Also, the more you have, the better! Visit Incredible Connection, Takealot, Game, and The Gadget Shop to check out their selection of these lifesavers.

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Stay Connected

Just because the power is out, doesn't mean you cannot stream, surf the web or continue with your assignment or presentation that's due tomorrow! Use a portable modem or 3G dongle to keep connected to the internet during bouts of load shedding. Most mobile networks and internet providers offer these nifty gadgets, so make sure you contact them or visit your nearest store to get yours ASAP. See, owning a dongle isn't that bad!

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A Pantry Full Of Snacks

Before everything else on this list, make sure that you jam-pack your pantry with lots and lots of snacks! That way, you won't starve yourself due to not having electricity to cook up some dinner on the stove or in the microwave. It's not the healthiest of meals, we know, but it's a delicious way to pass the time.

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Just Sleep Through It!

Or maybe you could save yourself all the time, effort and money ensuring you're set, ready and prepared for the load shedding by just sleep through it! There's no harm in getting in more sleep, is there? Before you know it, you'll be awakened by the flash of lights turning back on. Or better yet, why not just go out into the city, find a spot with power and just hang out there with a couple of friends?

load shedding