Off again – and that font?!?

The issue with our ailing power utility – so we were told – wasn’t the years and years of rampant corruption, but rather the guy who was in charge. He was in the process of stepping down when he gave that bombshell interview about all the corruption and was politely(?) asked to leave immediately.

So, now that he has gone, everything should be ok. Right?


Weirdly, it seems that he wasn’t the issue. So we have no idea what the problem could actually be*, but there clearly is a problem of some sort. Because I’m sitting here for another 10 hours without power today, because of the ongoing demand and supply problem. We want 31.3MW, they can only give us 24.7MW. And if you don’t cut the power to cover that shortfall, everything falls over and it’s a very bad thing.

Those figures come from this tweet from last night:

And I actually love the way that they’ve done their best to cushion the blow by using a whimsical font. Who do we think came up with that idea?

“Not looking great on the grid figures tonight. We’re dangerously short and we need to tell people.”
“OK. Send the twee… no… wait. Do you have a kind of handwritingy font we could use?”
“You know. Something a bit fun and disarming.”
“But we’re the official state power utility. Shouldn’t we be using the official state fonts?”
“Well, yes. But let’s show our human side. Just something a bit playful and quirky to take their minds off the awful numbers.”
“Well, I mean, I have got this one…”
“Like, actually Oh Em Gee! It’s So frikkin perfect! Look at the devil-may-care lack of connection on the loops! Observe the mildly curved downstrokes! The capricious overshoot on the Es and Ms! Do it!”
“Er… right. The numbers are still bloody horrendous, though.”
“Who cares? It’s so pretty! Quick, just click SEND before the boss comes back!”

I imagine that’s pretty much how it went, anyway.

Sadly, using my scientific brain, I was able to see through the eccentric and unprofessional choice of typeface, and I’m actually pretty worried about just how bad the situation is. But hey, it’s so easy to get bogged down in bad news. I guess that we should take solace in the fact that they haven’t used Comic Sans yet, so maybe we’re still somewhere just above rock bottom.

* although there is still that years and years of rampant corruption thing, but… surely not?!

Why didn’t he ask before?

10 hours without power today. If only something could be done about it.

But… wait…

JUST IN: The Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, has directed the
management and board to work hard to get the country out of stage 6
loadshedding with immediate effect.

Oh. Well then.

I never realised it was that straightforward.

Why didn’t he just ask a bit earlier?

Flying high

This isn’t a football blog. This is a me blog, but I do like football and so there will be mention of it on here from time to time. And particularly at the moment, given that Sheffield United are top of the table going into the first of this season’s international breaks.

Mmm. Healthy stuff.
It’s early days, but I’m reminded of the line from KonKan’s 1988 dance classic I Beg Your Pardon:

Come along and share the good times while we can

Because there are still 36 games and therefore [kwik maffs] 108 points to play for and it might all go pear-shaped at any time.

So why not enjoy it while we are flying high?

I love this: so much joy in one image. No, not the steward, obviously.

In other news: perhaps an opportunity to get some extra posts done this afternoon, with a massive 4½ hours of loadshedding coming our way. We’ll be without power today – on a Sunday, nogal – for 9½ hours in total. Scary times.

I ‘ll probably do some exercise and get some sleep as well (plenty of time for many activities, after all).
I’m still a bit tired after hula-hooping the night away in a repurposed watermill last night.

As you do.

Called it (volume 8,459,216)

Not claiming any points for this: one just gets used to seeing what’s going to happen long before it actually happens. Low hanging fruit.

Remember I ended last night’s blog post with this:

Well, this lunchtime, there was this:

Who could have guessed?

[entire country raises hands]

The “unlawful strike” was supposed to have ended, and unions had/were supposed to have told their members to get back to work:

Sadly, it seems that this just hasn’t happened. But who’d begrudge them another day or two off?

[entire country raises hands again]

Obviously, everyone is blaming everyone else, but to reject an 7% pay offer that hasn’t even been made yet seems pretty brave, defiant, and – most of all – really fucking annoying. And once again, it’s the South African public that are bearing the brunt of it all. And it’s difficult to put into words how hated those “workers” are right now.

So that’s another 8 hours of power cuts today.
No braai tonight. I’m getting dinner on now and warming it by gas a bit later.

Stage 4 and up in Cape Town – what does it look like?

Much alarm, but no real surprise, as the message came through that we can expect Stage 6 (six) loadshedding this evening.

Loadshedding – or rolling blackouts – is the process by which the country cuts off power to different areas at different times because there isn’t enough electricity to go around. The alternative would be not cutting areas off and literally overloading the grid, leading to uncontrolled blackouts and general Armageddon. You can’t just switch the grid back on after an uncontrolled blackout. We could be down for days or weeks.
Oh, and each stage represents 1000MW that we’re short of what we require. So to be missing 6000MW is quite something.

It’s not a good scenario.

In Cape Town’s 23 loadshedding areas, each loadshedding period lasts for 2 hours, plus an additional half hour during which the power is restored. You might get one loadshedding block per area in a Stage 1 or 2 day, and up to three blocks per area in a Stage 3 or 4 day. But once you get beyond that, it gets a bit different.

So what does life in Cape Town beyond Stage 4 look like?

Yes, it’s complicated, but there are plenty of timetables readily available. If you have electricity to be able to access them, of course. It pays to be prepared.

And it pays to cut your electricity usage when you have it. If we were all to do that, we might be able to reduce demand. But even then, it’s all very much out of our hands.

Fugly situation.