Stage 3 and 4 load shedding means cell phone companies are battling to keep their towers running. As a result, many customers have complaining that their cell phone signal is either weak or non-existent. Though the three major networks - MTN, Vodacom and Cell C - claim they are doing all they can to work around the extensive power cuts, some interest groups feel that they should be doing more to ensure that consumers continue to receive the service they have paid for.
If you've been struggling with poor cell phone network during load shedding, you're not alone. Cell phone companies claim that because of stage three and four load shedding they have been struggling to keep their towers running efficiently.
According to MTN, Vodacom and Cell C - South Africa's three major network providers - thanks to rolling blackouts their towers have been forced to rely on back-up power systems (generators) to continue operating when there's no electricity from the grid. These generators are primarily battery-powered, but some may run on diesel.
"The frequency of load shedding is resulting in batteries not having enough time to recharge," said Jacqui O'Sullivan, MTN South Africa's executive for corporate affairs.