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.
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.
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?
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.
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 referencenumber.
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.
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)