Load Shedding and ‘State of Disaster’ Explained

What is load shedding?

When the electricity demand exceeds the available supply, planned supply interruptions may have to be carried out. This is called load shedding. It is a controlled way of rotating the available electricity between all Eskom (the South African electricity public utility) customers.


Load shedding schedules are made publicly available in advance to allow citizens to plan for these scheduled power outages. Schedules are per province. If you are checking a schedule for load shedding times, please ensure you view the correct province. If required, we recommend that you download this app where you can enter your location and find the applicable load shedding schedule for your area.

Contingency plans?

As load shedding has been in operation for many years, most establishments such as restaurants, shopping facilities, hotels, and public tourist experiences have made the necessary adjustments and installed alternative power sources.

On 10 February 2023, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa declared a National State of Disaster. While is sounds alarming, it simply means that the South African government is given additional powers to resolve a crisis (in this case, electricity) with less bureaucracy, regulation and will have access to extra, otherwise, inaccessible, funds.  

What does this mean for the tourism industry in particular? 

Load shedding has been a reality for all South Africans, including accommodation and experience providers, for years. The declaration of a State of Disaster changes nothing. It should be highlighted that while most providers have made alternative arrangements and adjustments to their day-to-day operations, there is bound to be some small impact on the guest experience. Notably, while an establishment is being run on generated power (using a generator for instance), air-conditioning may not work at all, or it might be available in a limited capacity.

Click here to read President Ramaphosa’s full speech.


If you have a guest who is particularly concerned, please don’t hesitate to talk to a Thompsons Africa consultant, who will be happy to supply specific details of properties where the guest will be travelling.

We are available 24/7 with the support of our Customer Care Centre. Please contact us on +27 31 275 3500.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s