Load shedding crime

(SteveFromGWR / Flickr)

Load shedding: When the lights go down, crime goes up

We spoke to an expert about how load shedding affects criminal activity. The news isn’t great, and Yusuf Abramjee shared his safety tips with us.

Load shedding crime

(SteveFromGWR / Flickr)

With the lights going out across Mzansi, citizens are being frustrated to high heaven by the inconvenience of load shedding. However, there’s a more sinister side-effect to the power cuts, and it’s one that has been a blight on South Africa for a very long time.

How load shedding affects crime

We spoke to anti-crime activist and Crime Watch host Yusuf Abramjee on Wednesday, and he told us that there is an increase in criminal activity across the country whenever load shedding strikes. The striking revelation somewhat adds another dimension to the Eskom problem.

This week, we’ve seen the failing utility break new ground and implement Stage 4 load shedding, where up to 40% of South Africa’s power supply was offline. Unfortunately, times like these are a haven for the thugs amongst us. Abramjee explains how these blackouts encourage them:

“The indications are clear that criminals do strike more often during load shedding. This is due to the fact that there is more darkness for criminals to operate in, helping them make easy getaways. Criminals try their luck at every turn and load shedding gives them another opportunity, and we’re seeing a clear link between blackouts and increased criminal activity.”

Yusuf Abramjee

Safety advice for load shedding

Abramjee also shared some quick tips for concerned residents who feel particularly vulnerable to crime once the lights go out. As well as downloading the Namola app, our expert recommends the following:

  • Double-check that all doors and windows to your home are locked.
  • If you’re approaching your driveway, make sure you are scanning to see if the coast is clear.
  • If you return home and feel like you’re in trouble, drive away and contact the police.

Preparing for blackouts

Earlier this week, we wrote about the importance of safety during load shedding hours. It’s imperative to ensure your reserve batteries for security features (electric fences, gates etc) are fully charged and prepared to fill in when Eskom cut the supply.

You’re also advised to keep temporary lighting sources available in a nearby setting. Think torches, candles and gas lamps here. The best way to stay one step ahead of the game is by checking your load shedding schedule on a daily basis, to ensure you know exactly when you’ll have to operate off the grid.