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The frustrating reality of load shedding is an additional obstacle that has been placed in the road to success for many SMME’s in South Africa. There is unfortunately no way to avoid load shedding and frequent power outages will affect businesses, irrespective of size.

Economists estimate that the economy shrank by 3.1% in March last year due to load shedding in the country. Many SMMEs are concerned about the effect that power outages are having on their productivity, and for good reason. The best way to survive load shedding as an SMME is to be prepared.

7 Load shedding survival tips:
  1. Invest in a good generator
    Generators and inverters are the most common solution to surviving load shedding, but these come at a price. Keep in mind that not all generators are created equally – there are various considerations that will affect the kind of generator or inverter you will need, to adequately supply your business with the power it needs. Do thorough research and invest in a quality generator. Higher quality generators are worth the investment.
  2. UPS
    Consider a UPS (uninterruptible power supply or uninterruptible power source) with an adequately sized battery which can sustain electronic equipment for up to 8 hours.
  3. Insurance cover
    Ensure your business is covered for power surges and damaged equipment due to the result of load shedding on your power output. If you already have comprehensive business cover, confirm with your broker that you are adequately covered for such eventualities.
  4. Stay up to date with schedules
    Knowing when your business is due to undergo load shedding on a daily basis can help you plan around such circumstances. Consider your vendors and suppliers too and adjust your deadlines and turnaround times appropriately. Communicate such delays to your clients too.
  5. Adopt flexibility
    The best way to maintain productivity is to implement solutions that allow your employees to work around load shedding. This could mean shifting operating hours (within reason) or allowing work from home opportunities. Ensure your staff have clear objectives and are motivated to get their work done, despite the challenges posed by load shedding. If staff are willing to work after hours or weekends to deliver, take advantage of this by giving them the time off during load shedding.
  6. Business Interruption Insurance
    This is an additional safeguard against the financial loss your business can incur due to frequent power outages. This cover is costly, but it can be the difference between closing your doors forever or remaining in business. Speak to your insurance broker about this insurance option.
  7. Adopt a positive attitude
    As frustrating as load shedding can be, a positive attitude can go a long way. Look for opportunities to thrive during such times – consider selling your goods online or compensate for quiet and dark times by running load shedding promotions or sales. Be creative and find solutions to problems caused by load shedding. Avoid cultivating poor morale at work because of load shedding.
If you have the capability to charge laptops for your staff to use or battery-operated machines that can step in when the power is out, take advantage of such opportunities. With creative solutions and preparation, it is possible to survive load shedding and have business as usual.

MMS Consulting Services is available to you for input or advice on business operations, reach out to us at

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