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.


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

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.

Remember, remember

It’s Guy Fawkes/Bonfire/Fireworks night tonight, and yes, for some reason this gets celebrated in South Africa too. No-one seems quite sure exactly why, but it’s probably something along the lines of people just liking an excuse to have a good time and enjoy some fireworks.

And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you do it in one of the 12 designated sites across Cape Town, and as long as you do it between the hours of 6pm and 11pm this evening. (Incidentally, these sites are also the only approved places for New Year’s Eve fireworks in Cape Town too.)

6322388040_53824e6d2a_bbigger and better on black here

Of course, there are several (or more) people who don’t like fireworks because they say it upsets their pet dog/cat/hamster/dassie, and while – as a beagle victim owner – I sympathise with these individuals to some degree, I would point out that the Gunpowder Plot took place back in 1605, and the celebrations of it (geographically understandable or not) began some years before you got your furkid pet. These are the sort of people who choose to move next door to a music venue that’s been going for 50 years and write to the council about the “excessive noise” 2 weeks later.

So no, I don’t agree with your calls, facebook posts and online petitions to ban fireworks, you fun sponging killjoys.

It’s one two nights a year. Get a life.