Load Shedding: How power cuts are affecting the SA workforce’s travel time

Load Shedding - Impact On Travel Time | SA Taxi

Load Shedding: How power cuts are affecting the SA workforce’s travel time

Load Shedding: How power cuts are affecting the SA workforce’s travel time


The continuous rolling blackouts of the past few months have caused extreme damage to the economy of South Africa, with the added disruption to communities and small businesses. The energy crisis has caused a reduction in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), costing the economy up to 400 000 potential jobs. Alexforbes Chief Economist Isaah Mhlanga says that Eskom’s prolonged Stage 6 load shedding wipes out R4 billion from South Africa’s GDP for each day that it continues!


Plans are afoot to establish ‘energy resilience’, whereby municipalities and businesses invest in the renewable energy sector – facilitating municipalities to generate, procure and sell their own power. More and more people, who can afford it, are looking to solar solutions to move them mostly off the grid, with a lesser degree turning to generators to supply power.


But for South Africa’s workforce, who are still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, load shedding compounds their daily struggles, as they commute to and from their places of work. Each time that sections are load shed, traffic lights cease to work, causing delays and more time spent in traffic. Although an intersection without functioning traffic lights reverts to a 4-way stop, many drivers ignore this rule, causing chaos and sometimes accidents.


In addition, streetlights are also a casualty, making roads darker and more dangerous. This, in turn, heightens the risk of smash and grabs, as long queues of vehicles collect on the roads.


What this means for the passengers of minibus taxis, is prolonged transit times, causing late arrivals at places of work, and increased danger for passengers getting on or off minibus taxis. Even commuters using alternative transport services, like trains, have been left stranded during load shedding. Taxipreneurs lose money daily, as their taxis are caught up in traffic jams, meaning fewer trips, and less income.


Load shedding affects everyone – but we all have the same objective – to get to where we’re going safely. Be extra vigilant and exercise patience and tolerance on the road during load shedding.