Stay Ahead of Loadshedding with an iOS Shortcut Using ESP’s API

by | Sep 18, 2023

If you’re tired of manually checking loadshedding schedules, this tutorial is for you. Initially, my coworker Justin had the idea of using Google Home to fetch loadshedding times. After some research, we decided to create an iOS Shortcut instead. It calls the ESP API (formerly Eskom se Push) to fetch the next loadshedding time for a specific area in South Africa.


  • An iPhone running iOS 13 or higher
  • ESP API token (Get it here)
  • Postman or another API testing tool


Get Your API Token

First, go to ESP’s API page and get an API token. It’s free for up to 50 requests per day.

Find Your Area ID

To find your Area ID, you’ll also need to use the ESP API:

  1. Open Postman or your preferred API testing tool.
  2. Make a GET request to, replacing YOUR_SEARCH_TERM with the name of your area, town, or region.
  3. Add a header named token and insert your API token as its value.
  4. Look for the id field in the JSON response to get your Area ID.

Create the Shortcut

  1. Open Shortcuts: Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.
  2. Create Shortcut: Tap on “+”, then “Add Action”.
  3. Call the API: Add a “Get Contents of URL” action.
    • URL: Use the Area Information API endpoint, for example:
    • Headers: Add a header named token and paste your API token as its value.
  4. Get Dictionary Value: Add a “Get Dictionary Value” action to extract the events from the API response.
  5. Get First Item from List: Use a “Get Item from List” action to retrieve the first item from the events list.
  6. Retrieve ‘Start Time’: Use another “Get Dictionary Value” action to get the start time from the first event.
  7. Format Date: Use a “Format Date” action to change the date format to a more readable one.
  8. Display Result: Use a “Show Result” action to display the formatted start time.

Use Siri to Run the Shortcut

You can also trigger this shortcut through Siri by saying the name of the shortcut. For instance, if you named your shortcut “When is loadshedding”, saying this to Siri will execute the shortcut and provide you the next loadshedding time.

Stay empowered and never be in the dark again about when the next loadshedding will occur. This shortcut is your own personal loadshedding assistant, always a voice command away. Enjoy your newfound convenience!

That’s it! You now have a simple Apple Shortcut that allows you to ask Siri when the next loadshedding event is. Just activate Siri and say your shortcut’s name, like “When is loadshedding,” and you’ll get the next start time.

Happy loadshedding planning!

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