December 2018 Cape Town Loadshedding Links

Like a poor sequel, loadshedding (you may remember it from such terms as “Rolling Blackouts”) has returned, and once again, we are regularly being plunged into darkness.

Being plunged into darkness is never good at the best of times, but if you don’t know that it’s coming, it can be particularly irritating. So, best that you know when it’s coming then, and we’re here to help.

The good news for those of us in Cape Town is that some degree of loadshedding is often mitigated by our spare generation capacity (the hydroelectric unit up at Steenbras).

If you’re going to work out when and how much you’re going to be loadshod, you need a few bits of information. First off, you need to know whether you are supplied by the City or by Eskom and you need to know what stage loadshedding we are on.

To see what stage the local loadshedding is on, check this page.

To check for who your supplier is, look at the map here.

If you’re not in one of the cheerfully coloured areas, you’re an Eskom customer, and you should go here to view the appropriate schedules.

If you are in one of the cheerfully coloured areas, look at which one and then head here to see when you’re going to be cut off.

And that’s it. Loadshedding isn’t an exact science, so no promises made as to what might actually happen on the ground at the time, but this is as good a guideline as you’re going to get.

Loadshedding should last for about 2½ hours a pop. If it goes on much longer than that something has gone wrong (or it wasn’t loadshedding in the first place – other electrical problems are also possible), talk to the City on 0860 103 089 or Eskom on 086 00 37566.

Or do some online shouty stuff:

Don’t forget to not tell them where you live. That’s always helps.

Other useful links:
City twitter
Eskom twitter
Khulu Phasiwe twitter – Eskom spokesperson – DO NOT SHOOT THE MESSENGER.

Cape Town Loadshedding 2018

I would really rather not be writing this one.

Yep. Loadshedding is back. Not wet coal or no coal or breakdowns or corruption this time. This is strike action, although some believe it should be called something entirely different:

Because yes, this electricity shortage is because the workers aren’t happy about not getting a pay rise this year. But whatever terminology you wish to use, it’s the everyday people of the country that will suffer.

Which brings me to my next point: if you are in Cape Town, when might you be likely to suffer?

Here’s the information you need, in handy PDF form.

To work out when you might expect the lights to go out. And the TV, during the World Cup. Or the rugby, you smarmy egg-chasers. Yeah, that grin disappeared pretty quickly, didn’t it?

Using the schedule isn’t exactly rocket surgery. Use the map to find the numbered area in which you live or work (or intend to watch the sport), then match the date on the timetable below to see when you can expect the misery of a rolling blackout.

If you’re outside any of the gaily coloured areas on the map, then you need to go to the Eskom website to get your schedule.

Getting things done

It’s a phat 5 years since I wrote about a possible degree of slippage in the City of Cape Town’s efficiency in responding to ratepayers’ issues and getting stuff done about them. Back then, I said:

…the city is becoming less Capetonian and more Joburgesque every day. The DA are slipping, but they know that they can afford to, because everyone can remember – and can still see – just how bad the alternative is.

Of course, these days Joburg is a DA city too, but that doesn’t mean that things here have really improved. Politically speaking, Cape Town remains so staunchly blue that there’s no real pressure for them council to repair potholes, power outages and the like promptly like there was when their governing future was in the balance.

Or maybe I’m just being cynical? But either way, the city’s response to local problems is simply not as good as it used to be.

There are ways around it though. So, in order to assist you in dealing with the system, here’s how I got the streetlights on our road fixed, in an easy 47-step process.

Note that many of the streetlights on our road aren’t working. Odd.
Email the council, with name, location and contact number, plus details of the problem.
Receive auto-reply email promising “a response shortly”.
Wait several days.
Re-email the council with name, location and contact number, plus details of the problem.
Receive auto-reply email promising “a response shortly”.
Wait a day.
Send council a message on Twitter, with name, location and contact number, plus details of the problem.
Receive prompt response asking for name, location and contact number, plus details of the problem.
Send council a message on Twitter, with name, location and contact number, plus details of the problem.
Receive all important reference number.

 

 

 

 

Wait several days.
Ask council (publicly) on Twitter for progress update on given reference number.
Receive prompt response asking for name, location and contact number, plus details of the problem.
Annoy wife by swearing out loud.
Send council a message on Twitter, with name, location and contact number, plus details of the problem.
Receive message on Twitter saying that they are following up on it and will revert when we receive information.
Wait 16 hours.
Come home after nightfall to find streetlights have been fixed.

SEAMLESS. 

Still, at least they brush up their grass clippings.

How to snitch

And by snitching, I mean ratting, singing like a canary, squeaking, finking, tipping off. I mean:

to secretly tell someone in authority that someone else has done something bad, often in order to cause trouble.

The “bad thing” in this case being breaking the water restrictions, the “authority” being the City of Cape Town, and the “trouble” being a phat phine for being naughty.

I’m not saying you must. I’m not saying you mustn’t. I’m merely saying that a lot of people have posed the question of how they would (hypothetically) go about it, and I’m sharing my knowledge. Think of me as a facilitator.

The City has made it quite easy for you to be an Informer (ya’ no say daddy me Snow me I go blame, a licky boom boom down.)

When reporting people who ignore water restrictions you must provide as much evidence as possible related to the incident.
Photographs and precise details are vital.

If there is scant evidence, the city will still warn an alleged wrongdoer that they have received a tip off. However, the city can only fine if it has evidence.

Here’s how to report noncompliance with water restrictions:

Call 0860 103 089 (choose option two: water related faults)

Use the city’s Service Requests Tool

Send an email to water.restrictions@capetown.gov.za

SMS 31373 (max of 160 characters)

Knock yourself out. Or don’t.
No-one likes a grass (especially if it’s dried out and brown).

3b (or not 3b?)

It looks like the City of Cape Town, aghast that their current water restrictions and increased pricing seems to have had no effect on consumption (although presumably less concerned by the R33 million in extra revenue they’ve made from it), are going to move to Level 3b water restrictions.

Basically, this is just a more draconian version of the current Level 3 restrictions, including:

Watering/irrigation (with municipal drinking water) of flower beds, lawns, vegetables and other plants, sports fields, parks and other open spaces is allowed only on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 09:00 or after 18:00 for a maximum of one hour per day per property and only if using a bucket or watering can. No use of hosepipes or any sprinkler systems allowed.
Currently, you can water whenever you want, but only with a bucket or watering can.

No watering/irrigation is allowed within 48 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation. Facilities/customers making use of boreholes, treated effluent water, spring water or well-points are not exempt.
That’s up from the current 24 hours.

No washing of vehicles or boats using municipal drinking water is allowed. Vehicles and boats must be washed with non-potable water or washed at a commercial carwash.
Currently, you may wash your vehicle at home with a bucket.

In addition, the City is promising stricter policing of the restrictions, including investigating the top 20,000 water users in the metro, “the majority of whom reside in formal areas of the metro”.

The question is, why haven’t the City been doing more already? More communication, more education, more enforcement?

But then they make this vow:

We are also requesting our religious leaders to pray for rain.

Well, that’ll make it all ok then. Quite astonishing.

Why haven’t our religious leaders been praying for rain already? And if they have, where’s the evidence? Who’s withholding the damn rain anyway, and why? What sort of God would do that, killing all the plants, creating conditions favourable for the spread of wildfires, making our food more expensive and our daily lives more miserable?

When it doesn’t rain again, because praying is a complete waste of time, the new restrictions seems likely to come in to force on 1st February 2017.