Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stress Shedding: an experiment

Yesterday I got a call from my brother, who lives in Walmer, Port Elizabeth. He explained that their local substation had exploded and his home had been without power for 5 days already, with no sign of a replacement transformer anytime soon. Umkhonto We Sizwe would have been proud.
He had bought a small generator to run the fridge and the washing machine, and a gas cooker, but they had no hot water because the geyser used more power than the generator could provide. His 4 children were having baths at friends houses, and they are doing their best. They are taking next week off to get away from the chaos and try to relax for a few days at friends in Plett.
Meanwhile, our flat has been experiencing the "joys" of load shedding, with the power being off for 4 hours last night, from 6pm to 10pm. It will be off again on Saturday. The only reason they need to cut power on Saturday evenings is to keep their timetables "fair", although I think the businesses in Cresta Shopping Centre think otherwise.
I decided to try staying at home and relaxing for 4 hours. It was quite peaceful having a long soaking bath by candlelight, but I had to keep my ears under water to block out the sound of a petrol generator a few houses down the road.
Then I made tea from the thermos flask and settled down in bed under the blankets with "The Bourne Ultimatum" audio book on my iPod. It turned out to be quite restful, and I feel far more relaxed today. Perhaps I have found the silver lining to the cloud of Eskom incompetence.

Update: Kempton Park has also experienced a major substation meltdown, and some areas will be without power for at least 5 days. Last year the Atlasville, Bedfordview, Centurion, Plumstead and Skinner substations failed, according to the SABC news site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mighty Men v Eskom