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.
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?