South Africa’s load shedding crisis is taking its toll on its young and highly skilled workforce. As reported by The Citizen, over 56% of the respondents under 35 surveyed in the SA Blackout Report are considering emigrating due to ongoing power outages. Families are feeling less safe, and job prospects are dropping. Most households still rely on candles, while others have turned to gas conversions, USB-powered lights, and other alternatives.
According to Brandon de Kock, the Director of Storytelling for BrandMapp, solar power is becoming the solution of choice. Almost 40% of respondents consider it a means of survival. However, spending over R5 000 on a solution is only possible for some lower-income households, unlike the 20% of wealthier families who have spent over R30 000 to stay off the grid.
Although it may seem bleak, Ferial Haffajee, one of the journalists who discussed the report during a webinar titled The SA Blackout Report: How taxpayers are dealing with power failures, reassures us that South Africa is not a failed state. Instead, she predicts that things will turn around in a year or a year-and-a-half, making the following year’s elections memorable.
At the time of publication, the Eskom leadership was still uncertain. However, the SA Blackout Report warns that the situation is grave. While many are finding alternatives to cope with the outages, load shedding has far-reaching effects on South Africans, especially its young and highly skilled workforce.