For COVID-19 updates, visit the official government website www.sacoronavirus.co.za for free.
The latest announcements from Eskom suggest that we're in for some serious load shedding over the coming weeks and months.
Thankfully, there is more than one way to keep your smartphone or tablet charged, even when the power is down.
1. Portable charger
Portable chargers come in handy in all sorts of situations: on the plane, at music festivals, or even on short camping trips. There are a variety of compact models on the market, for example the Red-E Power Bank, that will give your smart device the power boost it needs.
Just make sure you remember to charge it up before the lights go out.
2. Solar-powered charger
If you really want to make sure you're not reliant on the grid to keep your phone alive, get yourself a solar-powered charger. The WakaWaka is a particularly useful choice as it features a built-in LED flashlight. Solar chargers can usually be charged either using a plug point or sunlight – but don't expect instant power, as you'll have to leave most solar-powered chargers in direct sunlight for at least a few hours before it's of any use to you.
3. Wind-up charger
The Powertraveller Expedition pack includes a few different ways for you to charge your device, including solar-power and a hand-crank. Although this rugged pack is designed to keep you connected while you're exploring the Earth's wildest and most remote areas, that doesn't mean it won't be useful if the power goes out in Houghton.
4. Car chargers
If you use your smartphone as a GPS device to get you from A to B, then you probably already have a car charger in your vehicle. If not, there are lots of models available and you should be able to find one at most cellphone or electronics stores.
As a last resort, use your laptop to charge your smartphone using a USB cable. While your laptop may not have hours of power available, it could be just enough to get you through the dark hours.
Stay connected to the internet
When it comes to internet connectivity, keep a USB modem and data SIM card ready to roll so you can connect your laptop or router and make sure you have enough data bundles to see you through while your Wi-Fi is down. You can also turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot so you can carry on working on your laptop.