3 ways criminals are taking advantage of load shedding


Load shedding has become a fact of life for South Africans. Unfortunately, it leaves citizens vulnerable to an increase in criminal activity as thieves use the darkness and limited security response times for their benefit. As businesses, homes and individuals face load shedding disruptions every day, it’s important to be aware of how criminals are exploiting the cover that darkness brings with it; from home burglaries, cable theft and hijackings. In this blog post we’ll explore three key risks posed by criminals when load shedding takes place.

1. Home Burglaries

Load shedding leaves homes vulnerable during the dark hours as not all homes have back-up generators to keep lights on during power outages. As a result of this reduced visibility, these areas become extremely attractive targets for criminals. Extended outages also result in alarm batteries running down, exposing properties to further risk. It is essential that members of our community take proactive steps towards protecting their families and homes by implementing extra security measures such as solar lighting and backup power for alarm systems to protect themselves from potential criminal activity.

2. Cable Theft

With frequent power outages leaving cables exposed and unprotected, cable theft is another issue causing further outages over and above load shedding. These thefts come with severe economic implications – not only through financial losses incurred but also via lost productivity or income due to disruption. There is no doubt that prompt action needs to be taken to reduce and prevent these thefts as they cause severe disruption of service, both at an individual consumer level as well as to businesses relying on electricity to operate and trade.

3. Hijackings

With instances of vehicle hijacking on the rise, statistics suggest that reduced visibility in dark streets at night (often associated with load shedding) has resulted in an increase of incidents involving hijacked vehicles. Criminals have become more bold and daring as they take advantage of security lapses empowered by darkness. As such, it is incumbent upon everyone to be aware of their surroundings at all times and look for any suspicious activity that should be reported, thereby assisting law enforcement to remain effective in addressing the issue.


It is no secret that load shedding has led to an increase in some of South Africa’s biggest risks – home burglaries, cable theft, and hijackings. With the vulnerabilities brought about by load shedding becoming more regular on account of its frequency, as citizens, it is up to us to take measures that ensure our safety by practising and implementing crime prevention strategies that assist in mitigating against the dangers associated with load shedding.


Gregory Botha

Claims Manager

Greg Botha has been a Claims Manager at Safire Insurance for 5 years. He has over 8 years of litigation and commercial law experience, making him well-equipped to handle the processing of insurance claims. Greg is passionate about ensuring that the procedure is handled efficiently, accurately, and in a manner that protects the interests of the insured parties while also providing satisfactory customer service.