Load shedding: SMS responses

2008-01-18 00:00

Eskom Load Shedding:

Readers respond. Some comments have been edited.

One specific outage, on 27 September, impacted very badly on my life and has left me with medical costs which I can ill afford.

A month before that I had a successful shoulder operation which healed so well. I work on the 5th floor of the Dept of Transport and when the electricity went off, I had to walk down 164 steps to get to the ground floor.

Because of polio as a child, my knees are very weak and I have to use my arms up or down stairs.

Because there were only rails on the right side of the stairs, I had to use my injured arm to assist me. Much difficulty and pain later, I was on the ground floor, but unbeknown to me this descent caused extreme damage to the operated shoulder. Four months later and I am still in severe pain and my specialist has suggested another operation.

Who is going to pay for this?

Marlena de Villiers

Firstly, government was warned over eight years ago by two internationally recognised experts, of the problem of increased demand, and chose to ignore it. So once again our government has demonstrated its incompetence.

Secondly, if large employers are penalised, their employees won't have electricity to go home to, because unless this situation is resolved, they may not have jobs in the future.

Thirdly, small businesses are bearing the brunt of this fiasco and in certain parts of the country many have had to close their doors, bringing a negative impact on employment.

Lastly, the Public Protector has been slow off the mark. He should have jumped all over Eskom long time ago.

I only wish the people of this country could follow the American example and bring a class action lawsuit against both Eskom and the government. It is high time the South African consumer stopped adopting such a passive stance to situations such as this.

I hope FIFA are taking note of this diabolical situation.

Paul Dorian

It is sad that the lives of many South Africans are affected because of "so called demand".

Why don't Eskom enforce the mega companies to close their production plants during peak hours and let the masses go home to electricity, or is there too much money at stake. Eskom is drawing power from the poor and supplying to the rich.

Am I wrong? I thought the MCB charges we have to pay were to prevent this situation? Perhaps we should revisit the payment of this tax. Who has been using the revenue collected for purposes other than for those intended or where is this mountain of money stashed? Where do Eskom's profits go if not into building up resources and infrastructure?

A. Kidson

Can't the Msunduzi Municipality not provide us with a better service and publish help lines too! After all, what is the use of Internet if there is no power! A daily print out of load shedding on the front page of The Natal Witness and other daily newspapers would be more practical.

Sue Drummond

My biggest problem is that the times that Eskom give do not coincide with the actual load shedding.

We received eight identical smses on Tuesday to let us know that we will be experiencing load shedding on Monday. The times they gave were completely wrong.

We had 3 different intervals on Monday adding up to 7 hours in total. The first one was at Breakfast 06h30 to 08h00, the second at lunch 11h55 to 15h00, and the third between 18h00 and 20h30. How do I feed my kids?

It is sad when the country was warned years ago to build more power stations and nothing was done. Today we pay the price. Really there is nothing the public can do. Anything we say will fall on deaf†ears. But one thing we can do is oppose stupid comments like there are not enough resources from the traffic department to put more officers on points duty. You need to look at the Manning Road/Royston Road intersection. There you will see about 10 traffic cars, all parked on the grass verge and one at the corner of East Street. What are they doing there? Waiting for the odd motorist that rounds the slip way and he gets caught up the road. Yet you will see no traffic vehicles in Langalibalele Street. You only need to see how these kombi taxis are driven, every traffic rule is broken. The same applies to Moses Mabida Road. You donít see any traffic vehicles. You know if these officers are visible then drivers will be more patient on the roads. The statement Kenneth Chetty is making is unacceptable. He needs to take a drive around the city to see for himself.

Load shedding is causing enough problems. We need to take note of all the foodstuffs we have in our freezers as these will begin to go off very soon. Who will compensate the house holder?


On moving to Pietermaritzburg in 1987 I was informed by our local Municipality that it was compulsory to have the "Domestic Single Phase Amp" switch installed in the electricity meter box attached to my house. The Municipal officials kindly told me that it was to help me†SAVE electricity.

†Today, this switch costs me R191,52 per month. If my neighbours and all the rest of the residents in the Msunduzi Municipal Area are doing their "thing" (don't forget it is compulsory to have this switch) in SAVING electricity, PLEASE† can† some one tell me why , we as residents of the "City of Choice" are having to join in with the power cuts and load sharing?

As it is clearly visible to all that this switch does not work, can I please have a refund?

Pennie Pelser


1 Plan the Outages so they occur at the same time on the same day in each

area, so people can prepare ahead.

2 Put qualified competent Managers in the relevant Departments.

3 The Witness publishes the time and place of the outages for that day on

the front page.

Eskom advise the people how long the outage will last, if possible a

fixed period for each area, so the inconvenience can be shared equally among

the population . I understand there are certain areas that have never had an


W.T. Bright

10. My husband and I live in Howick, and our power goes off without any warning sometimes twice a day. Howick itself does not get mentioned at all on the Internet or in the Witness load shedding schedules.

We have invested in a couple of long life lamps, so at least we can read, if nothing else.

Mrs Colleen Brand

I think it is totally unacceptable that load shedding of residential properties is done in the evenings when families are at home trying to feed, bath, do homework etc. residential load shedding should take place between hours of business e.g. 8am - 5pm as most homes are vacant and will not be affected.

Businesses should be shut down in the middle of the night or late evening. Eskom was awarded billions of rands years ago to rectify the matter and now they must pay the consequences and pay overtime to their workers.

We are told Eskom will not be held responsible for any loss or damages, as a business owner, we may end up loosing our homes, cars etc. We are unable to operate our business when load shedding takes place as we cannot utilise computers, credit card facilities, complete demonstrations and the list goes on. We cannot expect staff to travel home for a couple of hours and come back when the power is on, so therefore we have to pay people to be idle. Why do the powers that be at Eskom not think long and hard before taking on such a serious matter, consider the lives they are affecting. Perhaps the fat cats were issued with generators so do they actually give a continental!!

I agree with a previous comment made about a class action lawsuit against the Government and Eskom.


As a temporary measure, and until the power crisis has been resolved, may I suggest the introduction of a†fixed amount at the standard tariff for each household and†when this is exceeded a much higher tariff is charged. This will discourage extravagant use and thereby make more electricity available for essential services, business, traffic lights etc.

Joan Osborne

We are going back to the dark ages — excuse the pun


Some of the SMS responses

Switch off the total country for 5 to10 minutes at 9.00 pm every night! Everybody wins.

ESKOM should be fined for poor service and lack of maintenance . High salaried officials should have salary cuts as they are not performing as required .

Surely with all the power shedding we should be paying less for our electricity bills not more. Does Eskom or the municipality think of that? Why are the

street lights left on all day?

Does Lidgetton have to have load shedding 2 times a day. Farms and many businesses here? We cannot afford generators !

It is frustrating. Why not send the whole city on lunch at noon switch off for a hour or two. Remember the entire city will stand still, what a save! Businesses will plan better. Quinton Brien

Advertise load shedding schedules in the witness, not everyone has access 2 internet or a phone. Y is ur electricity bill hiking when all this load shedding occuring

It would be easy to sort out the Eskom power problem: just FIRE ESKOM'S CEO, and employ a Private Company from abroad to replace Eskom. DISGRUNTLED

Eskom is now giving Citizens yet another reason to leave the Country permanently! DISGRUNTLED

Multichoice will lose customers due to load shedding by Eskom - I hope they sue them for every customer who cancels their subscribtion! DISGRUNTLED

One wonders what FIFA thinks of the alleged service delivery in this third world backwater?

My sincere thanks to you, Bheki, for the excellent manner in which you are handling the Eskom power shedding issue! Go for it, and don't let them off the

hook! Lynnfield Park residents are squarely behind you! M White

my suggestion to eskom is for them to do their† load shedding at night say after 23h00 till 04h00 the following day,that is do a complete shut down then have enough power during normal working hours

percy xaba

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