The energy crisis is here to stay and South Africans have just had to learn how to survive it. From generators to inverters to solar power systems, businesses are investing in them all just to keep their services running.
On a domestic front, citizens have been keeping it simple from gas stoves to power banks, in a bid to keep going. Here’s a list of a few things the average South African can afford to stay ahead of the darkness.
Rechargeable light bulbs
They work like ordinary light bulbs, except when the power goes out, they stay on. They are also available in both screw and bayonet types. If you have an E14 fitting, a simple adaptor will help. There is a rechargeable battery inside. When power is available and the lights are switch on, they charge and when the power cuts, they keep the room lit up for at least 3 hours. Be careful though. Some brands work better than others, lasting longer. These bulbs sell for around R100 each and the adaptors (if you need them) are around R20.
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Camping gas stoves
These are truly a life saver. They are just so easy to use and small enough to store inside your kitchen cupboards. They are also safe enough to use indoors. They work with a butane canister which is the size of your average aerosol can. It self ignites, so you don’t have to fubble with matches. Small as it is, these cans offer a good few hours of cooking time and cost around R40 each. The stove itself is around R350.
Paraffin freezers were quite popular back in the day and used by the older generations. Good news is, they are making a comeback. Sadly, they are not as cheap as we hoped and fetch a price of around R6 000 for a 120 litre. But when one thinks of the value of food inside that it actually saves, it seems like it might just be worth it. A litre of paraffin powers it for around 24h and it is not as noisy as a generator, so you can use it while living in a complex, where generators are generally not allowed.
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Keep the TV on with a UPS
Depending on the size of your tv, the right UPS systems can keep you switched on for at least 3 hours into those long power outages. Just make sure it’s a UPS system over 1 000VA. Best to check with a local electrical outlet. These will likely set you back around R2 000. Keep in mind though, you might just need additional plugs and adaptors, which will cost you a few hundreds more.
Power banks and pocket routers
One of the best ways to stay connected during power outages is invest in a good pocket router. Because they charge like your mobile phone does, they last up to 9 hours after a full charge. They can also be charged up again with a really good powerbank. While the router costs around R700, the powerbank will set you back around R200.