Power banks for recharging smartphones have become a standard portable accessory in recent years. But the emphasis is on “recent”. They are now regarded as so, like, 2019, as they hark back to a time when many of us tended to be away from home and out of reach of convenient recharging for extended periods.

Even Eskom’s ever-present threat of load-shedding has not given them a new lease on life, as most current smartphones can run for a day on one charge. The real need during the typical four hours of load-shedding has been to power slightly larger appliances, such as computers, laptops, lamps, fibre connections, Wi-Fi routers and TV sets. A device with a USB connection simply does not keep the small office going, let alone that standard home office accessory: family demands...

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