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:

nothow

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

nowarn

nowarn2

nowarn3

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.

Cape Town 2015 Loadshedding Schedule

The City of Cape Town has released its new “improved”, fairer loadshedding schedule, which is applicable from 1st February 2015.
Rather than running on 7 day ‘days of the week’ timetables, we’re now looking at 16 day ‘date of the month’ schedules. Routine be damned!

Here’s your handy download of map and schedule, courtesy of 6000 miles… (or you can read on).

How to use the schedule:

  1. Find out which area you’re on, using the handy & colourful map.
  2. Check the red box here or here to see what stage loadshedding is happening.
    (Or check the City twitter account).
  3. Look at the calendar, check the date and look below to see when you’re going to be loadshod.

(Click images to enlarge)
loadshed1

loadshed2

PLEASE NOTE

  • Based on the national power grid, Eskom may change or suspend the loadshedding stage at any time.
  • If loadshedding does not occur in your area as indicated on the current schedule, it does not mean you will be excluded next time.
  • If you are in areas 17 – 23 or an unshaded area, then view your schedule at this web address: www.loadshedding.eskom.co.za
  • If power is not restored at the allocated time, please report this on SMS 31220
  • Electricity is needed to power certain city functions e.g. water reservoir pumps, sewage and drainage. Please use water sparingly during loadshedding periods.
  • During loadshedding treat all electricity appliances carefully as electricity might turn on at anytime.

Have fun, save power, do stuff.

Loads of loadshedding coming

“We are likely to load shed on most days in the near future”

Yep. Here’s a slide from the Eskom briefing this morning. That legend up at the top reads as follows:

Green days: Adequate generation capacity available to meet demands and reserves.
Yellow days: Constrained generation capacity with sufficient supply to meet demands and reserves. Moderate probability of loadshedding.
Red days: Insufficient generation capacity unable to meet demands and reserves. High probability of loadshedding.

eskom

A rudimentary count from next Monday gives us 102 days of which 11 are green, 20 are yellow and 71 are red. That means that until the end of April, SA will have a high probability of loadshedding 70% of the time. Even more worrying for the economy is that there are only three working days which are not red, and none of those three are green.

This is summer, when demand is lower, meaning that in some ways, we’re getting off lightly. But there’s no indication that come May, some magic bullet will have solved everything. No quick fixes here.
So yes, we’re screwed whichever way you look at it. But I think the time for recriminations is done now (I actually think that the time for recriminations was done a long time ago). Spilt milk. This has happened, it’s how it’s dealt with now that matters.
And that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to help out. Switch off what you’re not using, use high-wattage equipment less and try to make some sort of difference.
Do your bit in trying to turn a red into a yellow or a yellow into a green.
It really can’t do any harm.

Just a reminder that you can view the Cape Town schedules here. These are due to change on the 1st February, and we’ll keep you updated when that happens.

Loadshedding EP

Once again, it’s dark. Well, it’s not, because it’s light, but if it were dark, it would be dark. Yes, we’re being loadshod once again.

There was plenty of warning this time around and yet some people still seem to be confused, despite the best efforts of the City Council and Eskom to keep them informed. These individuals then react with anger. It’s proof that you simply can’t legislate for stupid people, I guess.

Me? I react with creativity. It’s been a while now since I’ve written any music and I’ve decided that I’m going to write an EP with loadshedding as my muse.
It’s early days, but already, there are song titles forming in my mind. I sense that a mixture of genres will ensure mass appeal.

The folk classic: Peggy, Don’t You Open The Fridge
The rock ballad: I Never Knew I Wanted Coffee (Until The Power Went Out)
The electronic dance piece: Generator X (Dubstop Remix)
The boy band pop hit: Solar, So Good
Some hip hop: Crap Traffic –  It’s A Four Way Stop Thing.
Oh, and obviously a death metal tune about Eternal Night, or something.

Like I say, this is just the bare bones. Now I’m going to hang some riffs and one (or more) soaring vocals on them.

You’re probably going to love it.

Sonia is unhappy about loadshedding

Look. No-one is happy about loadshedding. What’s to be happy about not having power for a few hours several times a week? It’s annoying, it’s disruptive, it’s frustrating.
But some people are more unhappy than others. Maybe that’s cos they just don’t get it. I think that maybe Sonia is one of those people.

Loadshedding, for those uninitiated in this relatively recently-founded South African pastime, is where there’s simply not enough electricity to go around and so the municipality cuts power from certain areas at certain times in order to conserve power and protect the grid. We’re given schedules to tell us when we’re likely to be cut off, but it’s not an exact science.

What follows is the comments thread (never read the comments thread) from a City of Cape Town post on Facebook, telling us about where was going to be switched off next and when.
I think they’re doing a pretty good job of keeping us informed. Sonia is less impressed:

lsimg

Incidentally, Sonia’s area (wherever that may be) probably doesn’t have a schedule on the City website because it’s not supplied electricity by the City. But that’s beside the point. Because it’s that second comment that makes me wonder what Sonia is thinking.

The electricity at my moms old age home was out from 10am till after 2pm! This is when the old people have to eat etc – that was very bad planning!

Damn straight, Sonia. You tell them. How could they leave your mom and her pals without any food over lunchtime? That is bad planning. The City should have a list of places where people want to eat lunch at lunchtime and they shouldn’t do loadshedding in those areas.

BUT THEN WHY STOP THERE WITH THEIR NEWFOUND GOOD PLANNING?

Next, they need to look carefully at when old people need to ‘etc’ as well, because as you state above, that’s obviously something that old people need electricity for as well. Lunchtimes aren’t just about eating, hey? More often than not, there’s ‘etc’ to get through too.

They should also have a separate list of places where people want to have lights when it goes dark and they should not loadshed those areas either. Another list might include areas where people want to have a cup of tea or coffee any given time during the day. These areas would have to be wholly exempt from loadshedding, because otherwise, how are these people going to beverage themselves adequately?

What about areas where people want to watch the rugby or other more exciting sport? I tried to watch some more exciting sport on Saturday afternoon with very limited success because there was no electricity due to loadshedding. This was very bad planning. Saturday afternoons are widely regarded as the best time for watching more exciting sport and yet they did loadshedding right while I was trying to do it.

How very dare they?

What about people who need to keep things cold in fridges, or do washing in a washing machine, or use computers, or traffic lights, or other things that use electricity?
There are hard lessons to be learned here. The City of Cape Town need to look carefully at their loadshedding schedules and, frankly, need to rearrange them more sensibly around people’s activities – especially those activities which require electricity.

Well said, Sonia.