Cape Town – Amidst yet another weekend of load shedding a Fin24 user has come up with a suggestion which she hopes will help small businesses like hers not only cope, but survive during power cuts.

Fin24 user Liezl Hesketh is the founder of TheRoomLink, an online property matching website.

“Load shedding impacts us greatly as a technology start-up dependent on electricity and Wi-Fi to keep going. And as we’re driven by the web, we need to run 24/7 – including Sundays,” she writes.

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She has, however, an idea for small or start-up businesses which cannot afford down-time and don’t have the resources for contingency plans:


Load shedding creates massive problems for small businesses. It also creates disruptions in other essential services like electricity faults, water and Wi-Fi. It could break a small business.

During the last two weeks TheRoomLink suffered the following:

– A day with no water. We had to bring water to work in 5-litre containers;

– Load shedding although we are a 24/7 business. So it affects us even when load shedding is on weekends;

– Three days without Wi-Fi;

– Sunday we had no electricity (and we have no estimated fix date). Once laptop battery power ran out we had to send people home.

Possible solution:

If we can find a few small businesses to work together, we could come up with an arrangement where:

– If load shedding (or other service disruption) is happening in a different part of the city, they can send their essential staff to work at our offices; and

– Vice versa: if load shedding (or other service disruption) is happening in our part of the city, we can send our essential staff to work at their offices.

If we can find businesses which are interested – or even big businesses which would support an initiative like this – it would be a great help for emerging businesses.