When loadshedding hits one of the first things many of us do is switch our phones and computers from WiFi to data, together with phoning friends and relatives to check up with them. Unfortunately for some Vodacom customers this wasn’t an option recently.

The telecom sent this SMS to some customers recently:

“Vodacom is aware that many customers around the country will be experiencing issues connecting to the network because of the Stage 4 Loadshedding that is currently in place. Our towers do use batteries as a back up but these do have limited power and will eventually fail. We have put proactive measures in place to help mitigate the effects of widespread loadshedding. For instance, we have deployed generators at numerous sites across the country and are working as hard as possible to keep customers connected.We would like to apologise for any inconvenience – normal service will resume once loadshedding runs its course.”

This SMS was sent out before things got really bad yesterday as loadshedding hit stage 6, so it’s worth keeping in mind now.

Something else worth keeping in mind, though not mentioned by Vodacom, is theft of the aforementioned batteries powering those towers.

Earlier this year MTN reported that 733 stolen batteries between April and July. Without these batteries the towers can’t function when the main power is turned off, and it’s the customers who suffer.

All of this is to say that you may be out of connectivity no matter which network you’re on when Eskom decides to turn off the power. As always try and plan ahead by keeping your devices charged up when this is power, and looking out for the dark hours by tracking down loadshedding schedules.

You may also want to download some movies (legally) when you have the chance. Check out our guide on how to do so for popular platforms such as Netflix and Showmax.