Load shedding strikes again

Just as I was finishing up tonight’s post the power went out. All part of our government’s plan to get people playing board games and talking to each other again (more on that later). As a result you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the latest instalment of if all else fails… Sorry about that 😉

2 thoughts on “Load shedding strikes again

  1. Hope your power’s on soon (I guess if you’re reading this, it must be…) On such note, I figure we’re not far off that in NZ. Already we’re receiving Power Bills From Hell because the ‘market reforms’ of 1998 served only to cement market monopolies and give the powercos opportunity to gouge. Because those reforms also broke the integrated balanced network, drought times usually lead to shortages and I figure it’s only a matter of time before we end up with routine blackouts. I actually met the engineers who’d helped design the integrated system at the time it was broken up (I was writing a book on NZ engineering at the time) and they were just about weeping.

    1. Apparently last night’s disruption was a cable problem, but we can have as many as six hours of power cuts a day if the system comes under strain. First thing I do every morning now is check a local news website to see the load shedding status – at the moment we won’t have load shedding today, but that can change during the course of the day. Thankfully the opposition in our local council has made available a schedule for cuts in our town, enabling one to plan ahead to some degree. (Why the opposition and not the ruling party? Good question.)

      According to an article I read recently government actually tried after 1994 to break the sole power company’s monopoly by writing legislation allowing for private energy providers. Problem is the private providers never realised (though the ruling party apparently made a ton of money out of the deal) and the legislation prevented Eskom from expanding their capacity. When someone finally woke up and saw where we were headed a few years ago it was already too late. (The president, of course, blames anyone but his own party, in one speech even shifting the blame as far back as Jan van Riebeeck, the Dutchman who founded Cape Town back in 1652 when electricity hadn’t even been discovered yet.)

      They’re building new power plants now (coal-fired, of course – lets screw the environment while we’re at it), but industrial action and corruption are causing constant delays, we’re selling power to half of Southern Africa while the economy loses billions of rands a day due to power cuts, and the Eskom bosses get astronomical performance bonuses while we’re cooking dinner over an open fire and eating it by candlelight (not that I have a problem with either activity…it’s the principle, you understand).

      So, yeah, electricity is a sore topic over here these days 🙂

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