Okay, so there really is no good time for load shedding. Not an hour of the day, not a month of the year. But festive season might just be the worst of the worst for several reasons.
On 5 December 2019 Eskom announced and implemented load shedding once more. A final hurrah for 2019, it switched the lights off throughout the weekend and into the new week. It went from Stage 2 to Stage 4 and onto Stage 6 all in a wink of an eye lid. It's just one of those things we've come to expect and live with as South Africans. And though we complain about it - like, a lot, we also make many jokes about this subject:
READ: Coastal SA dorpies you might have never heard of
But many are feeling the pain of load shedding more than ever as we attempt to ease ourselves into the festive and holiday season. Lucky for travellers, SA airports like George, Upington, Kimberley, PE are solar powered.
Taking to Twitter and Facebook, people are slating this all-too-familiar phenomena, with some even saying it's the most dangerous time of year for the power to be out.
But is December, in fact, the worst time of year to have load shedding? It's not just silly season, it's a time where crime spikes throughout SA, yes. StatsSA found that housebreaking is still the number one crime in SA, and when the power goes off, so does your alarm, your 24/7 security block's code entry system and booms go up.
Criminals are ready to cash in on festive season, as armed robberies tend to increase over this period with retailers staying open longer than normal. A lot more malls have procured their own generators to ensure they keep the lights on, however, still be focused on highly regarding your own safety during load shedding periods in such public spaces.
The Midrand Reporter notes that according to private security companies, crimes like armed robberies, burglaries, murder, attempted murder and serious assault tend to increase markedly over the festive season. It also reports that a lot of crime is opportunistic and fuelled by alcohol consumption.
When we go on holiday, many of us pack up and venture out of the city to relax in one of those sleepy hollow beach towns for a break. But this often means that we drop our guard, and we get 'holiday brain'. We forget that crime can happen anywhere. And with load shedding in the mix, we are even more likely to sit outside our home, maybe having a braai, and then forget to lock the doors or leave the garage open.
Or maybe the electric garage door is just open, because load shedding.
It's, therefore, crucial to get involved with the community and neighbourhood you are visiting, and to ensure you are aware of crime hotspots and risks involved in the area you're spending your time in.
Small towns, unfortunately, also feel the crime spike when met with an influx of people over the holiday season.
Find Your Escape by signing up for the Traveller24 Weekly Newsletter – Subscribe here. Or download the News24 App here, to receive expertly curated travel ideas and deals directly to your mobile.