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Significance: South Africa’s scheduled power outages, commonly known as load shedding, are increasing each year due to instability and poor performance of the existing fleet of power stations supplying electricity. The power provider projects that there will be load shedding every week for the next year. Data availability from the existing air quality monitoring stations infrastructure is already sparse over South Africa. Increased load shedding exacerbates this issue as power outages disrupt equipment operation. The collection of longterm and continuous ambient air quality data is needed for air quality-related research, policy and strategy development, and air quality management. The introduction of air quality monitors that are reliable and climate-friendly, such as passive samples, rechargeable battery-powered sensors and renewable energy powered sensors, might be interim interventions to ensure continuous data collection.