You may have noticed last week that my blogging was more limited and also delayed. South Africa’s energy crisis and constant loadshedding was to blame…and I’ll never take steady power for granted again.
Loadshedding In South Africa…It Makes Blogging Tough!
Eskom, once a highly-respected net exporter of energy, is the public utility providing electricity in South Africa. In 2008, it introduced loadshedding, planned rolling blackouts during periods in which demand exceeded supply. While Eskom has attempted to expand to meet increased demands and plans a massive new nuclear power facility, loadsheeding continues this summer in South Africa and has been severe. Although many complexities are in effect, corruption and mismanagement are two key problems.
I spent the last 10 days in South Africa. South Africa has grown over the last couple years to be one of my favorite countries in the world and I love so much about the country…but the loadshedding is absolutely maddening.
I spent last week at a farm outside of Middelburg and the loadshedding was so severe that the power was out more often than it was on during the daylight hours. Although the farm had a generator that kicked on immediately when the power went out, during loadshedding the cell phone tower was off (I was roaming on MTN), meaning no internet or phone signal.
At times, the signal would return for brief 15-minute periods before going out again.
In Johannesburg, where I spent the final night of my trip, the entire city went dark at about 8:00 pm. It was eerie driving through the streets with most lights off.
It is what it is…as I said, this is a complex issue…but with stage six shutting down power at such predictable times, it is even easier for thugs to steal cables without fear of being electrocuted. That makes the problem even worse.
It’s a sad development.
Folks, I’m sorry about the irregular postings…loadshedding in South Africa is to blame.
Ukraine has been forced to introduce rolling blackouts due to Russia’s strategic destruction of energy sites but such blackouts have been a regular occurrence for more than a decade in South Africa (and in other nations, of course, but not in wealthier nations like South Africa).
If you’re in South Africa, especially if you are outside a major city, prepare for periods without internet or mobile phone coverage When it happens so often throughout the day, your productivity is decimated.