Cape Town – Useful loadshedding information sources

After I wrote this shocked (pun intended) piece about the shocking (pun intended) reaction to the loadshedding this week, and with the thought of a LoadsheddingBalls series still not completely discounted, I thought that the individuals involved might actually just need some help.

See, the information on loadshedding is out there. It’s just about knowing where to look. And with a situation that is constantly changing, social media is perfect for keeping up with the latest updates. This is a Cape Town-leaning list, and that’s for two reasons: firstly, the authorities in Cape Town are generally very good at sharing information on loadshedding, and secondly, I live in Cape Town, so I’ve found the best ways for me to keep up to date.

On Twitter:

The big cheese. Eskom themselves: @Eskom_SA. Love them or hate them (I know, I know), this is the twitter account that will tell you what is going on with loadshedding nationally.

The other big cheese. Helen Zille: @HelenZille. Love her or hate her… oh whatever, and yes, there’s a lot of other noise on this account, but HZ does often relay a useful synopsis for the day, e.g.:

Warning: may also contain politically volatile batshittery.

City of Cape Town official twitter accounts: @CityofCT and @CityofCTAlerts. These are regularly updated with information on loadshedding: what stage we’re on, which zones are due to be shod next and so on. They will also be my primary source for LoadsheddingBalls, because of the fantastic replies they generate.

There are other loadshedding accounts that have popped up, but I’ve found that they’re not always hugely reliable.

On Facebook:

The City of Cape Town official Facebook account is just a mirror of their twitter account. But it’s very good at keeping you up to date with the latest loadshedding news.

On the internet generally:

For loadshedding schedules and maps, you need look no further than this very site:

Until end January 2015
From February 1st 2015

and tie them in with the latest stage in the red box here.

For Eskom supplied areas, you need their official loadshedding page.

Now you know what I know. Forewarned is forearmed.

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WIN: A Bespoke Beagleskin Waistcoat!

Well, that didn’t take long, did it?


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Far below

I love this shot of an airliner and vapour trail, but taken looking down, rather than looking up:

15760017353_7164125ce7_kFellow Traveller by Alexander Gerst

Alexander, in case you hadn’t worked it out, is one of the astronauts on board the International Space Station, and that plane is flying at about 2% of the altitude he and his colleagues are at. And probably a good deal slower as well.

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Loadshedding reaction

And so, as widely predicted, loadshedding started again in South Africa yesterday. It’s the first time it’s happened this year, but it certainly won’t be the last. In fact, we’ve been told to expect it for the next 3 (three) years. Next week, our chronic problem will be acutely exacerbated by Koeberg’s No.1 Reactor being switched off for routine maintenance, and, if the reaction to yesterday’s events are anything to go by, we’re simply not going to survive.

Liverpool has long been chastised for its “victim mentality”. It is the Mario “Why Always Me?” Balotelli of cities, which is what made his move there last year so deliciously ironic. But a quick look at social media yesterday indicated that as a country, we’re pretty close to besting their “pity me” efforts. Here’s a quick selection of stuff I saw.

There was anger:

Complaining will usually make a difference if, say, you have had some bad service in a restaurant. Right with you there, Frana. But if you actually believe that complaining about loadshedding (even to these mysterious “right people”) will make the slightest jot of difference, you’re sadly wrong. While the restaurant manager can have a quiet word with your errant waiter, there’s no quick fix to [many] years of under-investment and the alleged lack of foresight by those in power (pun intended).  

Thanks Thabo. The microbiologist within me (I will let him out one day) has insisted that I pick you up on that first sentence though. Unless you are some crazy conspiracy theorist (and maybe you are), you should know that not every virus is made by man. Very, very few viruses are actually made by man. And loadshedding are not one of them.

And then there was the Sea Point Incident (#SPI), whereby the electricity tripped due to a power surge just as it was being restored following their allocated loadshedding period.
Jeez. You would think that the world. Had. Ended.

Obviously, the #SPI was a result of Eskom and City of Cape Town joining forces to deliberately crap all over Sea Point and thus, it was totes unfair:

Because people had important stuff to do:

Surely there was some sort of error?

And they really hope that it’s not going to happen again:

Honestly, if we could generate electricity by whinging, we’d be sorted.
But sadly for you guys:


However, we have to go to Facebook to find yesterday’s winning loadshedding reaction:




But… but… how?

Excuse me asking, but exactly which large rock have you been living under? And is it still dark under there?

Sure, you may not have Twitter, although you do have Facebook, but then, maybe you don’t use it very much. (Although you could, and then you might not be so unpleasantly surprised in future.)

But do you not have a newspaper, an internet, a radio or a TV? If you do, do you read, listen or watch it? If so, how did you not know this was coming? And if not, how exactly do you expect to expect the wholly expected? Must the authorities inform everyone else by these mass methods of communication, but employ someone to pop round personally inform you of the latest news? Is this what we’re paying our taxes for? If so, it’s money that could be better spent on mending the broken electricity grid, so it’s people like you that are responsible for all these problems in the first place.

You and Apartheid. Allegedly.

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The best way to keep your word…

…is not to give it.

And yesterday, I did promise an end to the short blog posts and a return to something of normality. And then today happened.

Today wasn’t great.

Today was very busy and full of people letting me down left, right and centre. The dreaded South African customer service strikes again. Our daughter also got sent home from school, sick. [sad face]
Thus, it’s gone half past eight before I’ve even thought about having time to write stuff. And even now I’m having to get up and look after the dog because there’s an SAAF Oryx helicopter doing bumps and runs at 2 Military Hospital just down the road and it came over so low that it almost took my chimney off and blew the puppy away. Seriously. I just collected it from the garage roof.
It’s just been one of those days.

Talking of the dog, it hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory of late, either. It has covered itself with soil from underneath my lawn though. Repeatedly. But every cloud has a silver lining, and that silver lining looks likely to shine on one of the readers of 6000 miles… Should another hole “mysteriously” appear in the garden*, I will be offering a one-of-a-kind, bespoke Beagle-skin waistcoat (it won’t stretch to a full jacket, I don’t think) to a competition winner picked at random from my readership. I may even commission a silver lining, literally.

The rest of the week looks frankly terrifying equally busy, but I have high hopes and expectations of getting some decent blogging done in between the disasters and the loadshedding.


* PRO TIP: They’re not mysterious at all – the beagle is digging them.

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