Eskom, load shedding, south africa

Shedding the Load

Load shedding


Load shedding defined

When South Africa’s electricity gets turned off due to massive ineptitude and avarice on behalf of the country’s only power provider.

I have to provide the definition because it’s come to my attention that people in 1st world countries have no clue what load shedding is.

Until a few years ago, neither did we.

Yesterday, I had a fascinating and insightful conversation with a lady in the UK.


It went like this:

“We think it would be nice to something around load shedding.”


“Like, we could remind people to record the show they’ll miss because of load shedding.”

“Um. That won’t be possible, because load shEskom, load shedding, south africaedding means that there is no power, so you can’t record anything.”

“Alright, so lets give them something easy to cook during load shedding.”

“Yeah, that would be amazing, except again, no power.”

“How about a no-bake cheesecake you can just pop in the fridge?”

“About that, the fridge has no power either.”

“What about internet access?”

“Well, the Wi-Fi would be down because of the whole no power thing and data here costs more than a kidney on eBay so most people won’t use their last two bars of battery and data to watch TV.”

Deep sigh.

My colleague interjects, “Basically, just imagine what London was like in the 1800s.”

I’m sure that helped a whole lot.

I didn’t set out to be deliberately obstructive. Promise.

So, we moved on to the times when most people are online.

“Here, in the UK, our high traffic times are 7am to 9am and 4pm to 6pm – so we think you should do more around these times.”

Deep breath in.

“I’m sorry, but that won’t really work here, because we don’t have a viable public transport system, so during those commuting hours people are mainly sitting in traffic jams waiting to die.”

“Oh,” she said, “That’s a very good insight.”

Yes. Yes, it is.

It’s a very good insight into the deteriorating state of government affairs and infrastructure in the face of extreme incompetence.

After that call I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

So, I chose to laugh.






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I write because I have to. It is a compulsion. I do it to vent, to laugh and to remember. I blog because it has been so long since I had to write with a pen that my hand would go into cramp if I tried to write a journal.

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