We haven’t had any blackouts here in our neck of Johannesburg for a while (fingers crossed, touch wood, famous last words), nevertheless South Africa is now fully prepared for Easter next week should the power go off.
Load Shedding Easter Eggs are glow in the dark eggs. Small torches are included in the box to help you hunt for the eggs in the dark. It sounds like a fun idea.
However, entertaining as they are, these load shedding eggs have a fatal flaw, a catastrophic flaw in fact.
Increasing numbers of South Africans have electricity meters at their properties. They are popular with landlords, because it forces the tenant to pay up front, thus avoiding nasty disputes about electricity bills during a tenancy. We didn’t realise our rental property came with one of these delightful pieces of equipment until after we had moved in.
“Ja, you just go to Spar and buy a voucher”, the estate agent said vaguely.
So after years of Direct Debit convenience where electricity supply was constant in return for the power provider debiting amounts due on a regular basis, we were in a situation where we had a meter on the wall. We checked it regularly to make sure it didn’t run out. We religiously bought the 20 digit vouchers and on the occasions when the meter frowned and beeped at us with displeasure, ran frantically about the house trying different sockets until we found one that the meter was happy to communicate with. Then we would get a smiley face and newly topped up balance showing on the screen.
However, we now know what happens when the meter gets to zero or malfunctions… Continue reading →
After being lulled into a false sense of load-sheddinglessness in recent weeks, it has returned with a vengeance. Having again resorted to emergency baked beans on toast cremated on full heat setting and dished up in the dark, I decided to think seriously about the alternative methods for providing a hot meal for the family, particularly as the beans were stone cold by the time Mr Incredible got home meaning he was left with a cheese sandwich.
“There is good news and bad news. The bad news is the sh*t is about to hit the fan, the good news is the fan will be off due to load shedding*”, this is more of less the content of a close to the bone spoof Eskom broadcast which did the rounds on social media in recent months.
In the 19th century, maps of Africa charted the coastal areas, but the interior, as yet a mystery to European explorers, was left blank…or dark. The romantic name ‘The Dark Continent’ was coined and is still used to this day although in our case we use it in a different context…..