Thursday, December 13, 2007

Load Shedding: Unburdening the Burdensome

I am currently staying in the town in which I grew up, Pietersburg, now known as Polokwane in the Limpopo Province.. and will stay for the duration of the ANC conference. This should be a pretty interesting sight, for the stream of events might very well take place under a clump of trees in broad daylight, and should any of the events be drawn further into the night, then the use of incandescent candle light will be the welcome glow of favour. No, not because the Limpopo is out in undeveloped bushveld Africa; its not. Polokwane obtained city status well over a decade ago. And with its sprawling platinum mines and booming industry, may be ranked in relative good stead with the rest of developing South Africa. Including, when one takes into serious consideration, the constant excuses for power outages- the states belligerent wailing about not being able to adequately measure the growth needs for electricity and what not. When I drove out of Johannesburg on Monday morning, Classic FM's traffic report informed that major power failures would ensue in and around greater Johannesburg. Everyday of this week already, power cuts have swept through various areas of Polokwane at different times of the day in a kind of wave taking bites out of normal work and private life. Traffic lights have become makeshift, ingratiating fourway stops with road rage rising to boiling point. The main roads and pathways have been dug up in morse code style trenches in order for the local municipality to try to ascertain some reason beyond Eskoms load shedding, for the pandemonium. Geysers shiver in the midst of spluttering computer systems, residents of offices and homes are trapped safely behind their electric palisades and security companies are rushing about to install long-life battery support systems for now defunct alarms. Frozen foods defrost beside what was ice cream in insulated cabinets quickly transformed by lack of power and the blazing heat, from icey cool refrigerators to hotboxes. And the media carry sing-song reports of times and durations of the outages, as matter-of-factly as weather reports! A day in the life. Rather gruesome, down here at ground level. Welcome to South Africa!


diatribe said...

hehe... you are not exactly proudly south afrikken here. at least the candles are made in sa! & wots the matter wit having a local indaba under the trees?

KimyaShafinaaz said...

gosh. these are words of love! couldnt u tell? sigh.. its love that makes me speak out! communication between me and beloved SA.. but u see.. its not SA thats the problem.. its the rather apathetic (non)service provision .. the electric power cuts are one thing.. our wonderfully constructed concrete highways have been recently patched up with pollyfilla (bits of tar) - roads built to last and last and last, now maintained with chewed gum!!! if we ever dreamed of seeing the likes of the global autobahns, well we're stepping in the wrong direction.. time to saddle up some horses methinks!