Business 101: Small business tips for load shedding

THE reintroduction of load shedding hit 49 percent of small business in South Africa, despite finding ways to work around it, the first quarter Business Partners Limited SME Index has found.

The third annual State of Small Business report by Xero and World Wide Worx states that more than half of small business in South Africa have not yet adopted cloud technology because they cannot rely on a consistent and efficient flow of electricity or internet connectivity.

In fact, almost 60 percent said the scheduled power outages posed a significant threat to their daily operations and revenue stream.

A few guidelines on what to consider:


A generator might be able to keep you going when the lights go out, but have you considered insuring it? While generators cost between R25 000 and R150 000 to replace, repairs could cost more than they are worth, so insurance is worthwhile.

Check whether your generator can be insured as part of your policy. If you are insured, make sure that it is installed professionally and operated correctly, as there are industry standards that need to be adhered to for insurance to be valid. You’ll need a certificate of compliance from a qualified electrician to prove that it was installed correctly, so this is not a DIY job.


Not only has load shedding affected the way we work, it has affected where we work and can cause havoc when attempting to save work as systems are forced offline.

This, coupled with the third wave of Covid-19 and a slow vaccine rollout means that office-based working is unlikely to return to “normal” in the foreseeable future. Embrace cloud-based business solutions as they allow team members to log in from anywhere and any time in the world.

Cloud solutions promote efficiency and eliminate the need for constant backups. Converting to cloud allows businesses to pay for what they use, cut hardware expenses dramatically and decrease rental expenditure.


The biggest inconvenience caused by load shedding is the interruption to internet connectivity.

Opt to buy a UPS (“uninterrupted power supply”), which ranges from R1 000 to R45 000. But not all UPS systems are created equal. Standby UPS provides a short-term source of electricity and operate with a static switch to transfer the load automatically from the utility to the inverter when the power cuts out.

A double conversion UPS is ideal for powering mission-critical equipment and machinery, and a line interactive UPS keeps track of incoming voltage and regulates it automatically when low or high levels occur. It’s best to contact an electrician to help you calculate the voltage you require and advise on a cost-effective UPS solution to match your needs.

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