At first it was just an idea between two friends who wanted an app to help simplify the load-shedding schedule. Today more than 500,000 users depend on it.
Herman Maritz, who co-founded EskomSePush with Dan Wells, told TimesLIVE: “Dan and I were working in the same office at the time, building apps for banks. We laughed about making this simple push notification service.”
Within the first six weeks of its launch in 2015, the app had over 100,000 active users. That number peaked at around 250,000 active users before load-shedding was suspended later in 2015.
“Now in 2019, load-shedding is back – and now we have 550,000 daily users,” said Maritz.
Last week, Business Insider reported that EskomSePush was the most downloaded app on the South African IOS App store and the second most popular application (behind Whatsapp) on the Google Play store.
Load-shedding, last seen in SA in December, was implemented on Sunday last week, starting with stage 2. This was upgraded to stage 4 on Monday and reduced to stage 3 on Tuesday.
Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said on Monday that load-shedding was “unlikely” for this week.
Maritz explained how the app works: “We are sending push notifications as soon as loadshedding is announced and providing a schedule of when your area will be affected.
“The app makes it incredibly simple for users to get loadshedding schedules for multiple areas, without having to hunt them down across various sources. Our users are then able to plan their day and be informed.