When scheduled blackouts first appeared in 2007, they were seen as a temporary fix. However, over a decade later, load shedding remains an ongoing challenge for South Africa’s socio-economic landscape. In response, businesses must adapt their strategies to minimize the impact on their employees and operations.
The Impact of Load Shedding on the Economy and Workforce
- Stage 6 load shedding costs South Africa R4 billion per day
- Fuel prices have increased, making commuting more expensive for employees
- Electricity tariffs are expected to rise by 18.65% in April
Surgo’s Load-Shedding Plan: A Model for Business Resilience
Surgo, a multi-award-winning Business Process Outsourcer (BPO), combats load shedding by embracing work flexibility and remote work for their employees. Their Load Shedding Plan includes:
- Remote work with secure internet access: Allowing employees to work from home prevents reliance on office infrastructure dependent on Eskom’s power cuts.
- Installation of UPS units: Employees with active fibre connections are provided with a UPS unit for their homes.
- Financial assistance for fibre connections: Surgo offers a fibre allowance to help employees cover the cost of installing fibre at home.
- UPS replacement process: The company quickly replaces faulty equipment to minimize downtime.
- Alternative workplace solutions: Employees without fibre optic connections can work from the home of a nearby colleague during load-shedding hours.
- Load Shedding Dashboard: This tool displays load-shedding phases and employee locations, facilitating shift planning and providing valuable insights into the impact of load shedding on the workforce.
Expanding Operations Beyond South Africa
Surgo has also opened an office in Namibia to deploy contingency agents in the event of major load-shedding.
In light of the ongoing challenges posed by load shedding, businesses must prioritize work flexibility to protect their employees and operations. By adopting a comprehensive Load Shedding Plan, companies can ensure productivity remains unaffected and operations continue smoothly. The Surgo model demonstrates that it is possible to adapt and thrive in the face of load shedding, setting a valuable example for businesses across South Africa.