LOAD SHEDDING

Readers outside of South Africa will find it strange that since April 2008 the country has been subjected to periodic scheduled mandatory load shedding during which – whether we like it or not – there is no power for several hours at a time. This creates havoc all over the country as you can imagine. This week we were subjected to Stage 4 with three such outages per day. I needed to buy items from our supermarket:

The light was coming in from the wide entrance for this was the middle of the day. This shopping mall has a generator, but seemed to have trouble getting it going for the second bout of load shedding that day.

I joined three other shoppers at the cheese counter, our combined cell phone torches creating enough light to see by. Everyone was using their cell phone torches as they moved up and down the aisles to fill their trolleys. How can a regular power outage halt what needs to be done during the day? There was sufficient power coming from a smaller generator for the tills to work, so life carries on. I could hear the large generator kick in as I neared the exit and the supermarket was bathed in bright neon light once more.

We have moved to Stage 2 for the weekend: only two sessions of power outage.

42 thoughts on “LOAD SHEDDING

    • The provision of electricity and water should be a given … here we have learned to take the lack of either or both in our stride. That still doesn’t make it right!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. “Welcome to Africa”. Load shedding at home and in shops is one thing, but when an entire main street’s traffic lights don’t work because of it, it becomes a matter of safety! Tuesday as I was leaving town after shopping the whole length of a main road on my route had traffic lights out. And people just don’t seem to understand the concept of a 4-ways stop!

    Like

    • We were stuck in peak traffic in Port Elizabeth last month during a bout of load shedding. I take my hats off to those drivers, most of whom waited patiently at the blind robots for vehicles to take their turn at crossing. There was no hooting, just a resigned patience.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I must say, I also find motorists very cautious and patient at these intersections. There are always exceptions, but those road hogs will always be with us.
    I have just put my little lanterns outside to absorb sun energy. Last night we were cought off guard with all of our lamps dead.So torchlight and off to bed!

    Like

  3. I remember living through the ‘Winter of discontent’ here in the UK with scheduled power cuts rotating so everyone suffered. It took quite a lot of planning to cope – but THREE in one day – no wonder you are fed up!

    Like

  4. Wow, that’s indeed odd. Does it happen during the week as well. I suppose you get used to it and plan your day accordingly. I wonder about the office and the stores? Do criminals take advantage of it. I bet here people would start looting. No power means no alarms?

    Like

    • These power outages happen on a daily basis – although we do go through periods of reprieve – and of course it affects productivity. Most of the schools here, the university and the larger retailers have generators that kick in when the power goes off. Other places simply have to shut up shop. You are right about these outages playing into the hands of criminals, especially at night, for of course the alarm batteries run down. We all have to be more careful during such times.

      Liked by 2 people

    • South Africa is filled with surprises – not all of them pleasant. Still, we are blessed with good weather, an abundance of birds, flora and wildlife … so we take the good with the bad 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Reluctantly, this is an issue we have simply had to get used to. Good news is that load shedding will be suspended from eight o’clock tonight. For how long is anyone’s guess though.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Here if the power is off they close the shops until the power is back on. I guess they can’t take money if the cash registers aren’t working.

    Like

  6. We do get used to it… sort of.
    Imagine what it’s like for us trying to bake for clients and juggling orders around load shedding!

    ”Please note: WR are experiencing high call volumes ….”
    Well the ANC were warned, were they not, and I didn’t bloody well vote for them!

    Like

    • Having had to rise really early this morning to bake a birthday cake before the power went off makes me realise what a nightmare this must be for you. Thank you for this perspective.

      Like

  7. In February of 2021, my part of the United States, the midwest, had a 2 week arctic blast. We found out the limits of our energy supplies. We had some floating “brown outs”, but our house was never impacted. But the (corporate)energy companies were pretty fussed about how much they had to pay to keep us warm, and have convinced the government regulators to increase our costs, now, to recoup. They have huge profit margins, so their losses are relative. But, it’s the game, and our bill increased 5%. I am not one to fuss, but your experience does give me perspective that at least I stayed warm during those unprecedented cold days. Americans are not guaranteed energy though, and our poor do suffer.

    Like

    • This is going to happen here too, that even when there IS power it will become beyond the reach of many. Most of the informal settlements around the larger cities have a plethora of illegal connections to the electricity grid. As fat as they are taken down they are connected again!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. How difficult that must be to deal with, but it sounds like you are resigned to it. I suppose it is beyond anyone’s control. It must be tough for businesses that require refrigeration, etc. They all must need generators like hospitals do. Is this a seasonal thing or year round?

    Like

  9. Pingback: This week’s small pleasures #274 – Thistles and Kiwis

  10. Every year there are rumours and announcements and we fear load shedding will be imposed, but we have been lucky for the past few years in our state of Kerala. I hope our luck holds.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.