Lights out

I have been struggling to keep up the past few days. A large part of the blame for this rests on a lack of electricity. Things are a total mess right now here where I live in general – so many human rights continually being ignored.
However, there is no right to electricity. That said, and even though I can understand why it would not be considered a right, our electricity provider for this country has recently upped our rates astronomically. I’m pretty sure if you google Eskom, or loadshedding, you can find all the forums and discussions and anger and frustration of consumers. If I added everything in here this would be a very negative post – and yet there is still a part of me that wishes the truth would find its way out there… in regards to everything that is wrong with where I live. Electricity is a very minor part of it.

Unfortunately, I am part of the majority who has to pay these ridiculously high rates, and cannot afford to purchase and run a generator in my home. This means that currently, due to loadshedding of electricity that has been implemented, I am without electricity for four hours during the day – and these are active hours, and not hours where we can just sleep through, and continue life as normal during our waking hours.
The complex I live in has another problem when there is loadshedding – the water reservoir that supplies us with water is on an electric pump – so when we have no electricity, we also have no access to water. (In a country of roughly 57 million people, about 15 million people do not have access to a safe water supply at all.)
And my water supply isn’t safe for drinking either. In fact, in my town, we were advised two months ago toΒ not drink tap water, due to sewerage spillage in the main supply dam. There was an outbreak of cholera at the time, and lives were actually lost. 😦

But back to loadshedding – if you delve into it you will discover that one of the many reasons that our electrical supplier has provided for the current loadshedding schedule implementation is that ‘due to heavy rains the coal got wet’. We have been given this excuse for over four years now. And every one of us who have any sense can be heard saying, “You have reached an entirely new level of stupidity if you expect us to accept that. How many times do you have to experience heavy rains and severe damage that affects an entire country before you build a flipping roof over the coal???!!!!!”

It’s always during these implemented schedule times that suddenly ‘maintenance’ is also carried out – which never makes any difference and it’s naturally just assumed to be a decoy of something bigger. Yesterday, we had ‘maintenance’ in my area – from 6am till 6pm. No electricity or water for 12 hours. I have also been told that there will be ‘water maintenance’ on Thursday and Friday – 24 hours with no water.

My reason for sharing all this is this : No electricity means no computer time. My laptop battery lasts only 90 minutes – it’s an old laptop. And only has an internet connection via wifi anyway…which is off when there is no electricity. My cellphone is also really old, and so despite having a new battery, the drain of the old model means that the battery only lasts two hours.
And I can hear you saying – buy a new laptop, buy a new phone, get a dongle or other form of internet data. I am a one income household who has to pay for education, with two children – one at university and one at high school – where there is no job availability for my oldest – earning a very minimum level salary, only just managing to feed and educate my children, and keep up with costs and maintenance on a house and vehicle. SO… no new purchases will be made any time soon. (My brother assists me, for which I am very grateful, but it also makes me feel like so much of a failure, not being able to provide fully for my children and I. I’ve tried everything to change that… but with circumstances in my country being what they are, it just doesn’t seem like it will ever be possible. I refuse to give up though, and keep trying anyway!)

And NO! Please do NOT send me money!Β 

It always amazes me how when someone posts something like this, people naturally assume that that is what they’re after – that it’s a form of begging or trying to solicit cash. I can assure you that this is not the case AT ALL.Β 

I tell you all of this so that those who really care are not concerned when I ‘disappear’ for a few days at a time. (And there is that concern when you take into account the current crime rate where I live and the risks every time I leave my house.)
Most of my work is computer based – and so when the electricity returns, there is usually a lot of work, and work emails, that need to be attended to. If I don’t do that, then I don’t earn any money. So unfortunately, at this stage, that is the priority in the my life.

The following pictures are all from sapeople.comΒ  – the first ‘bedtime story’ is exactly how I live – it’s a no wonder so many of us here are living with high awareness and anxiety – and are exhausted 80% of the time. (Except I don’t have a gun – and my last big dog that I had six years ago and let sleep outside was poisoned and I lost her – which is why my two now sleep on my bed, with me) But it’s a funny way of seeing things, this story, I guess. The other pics are also part of the jokes that are making the rounds.

And did you know that South Africa is currently the most romantic country in the world? We eat our dinner out (of cold cans) by candlelight almost every night πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

load-shedding-eskom-bedtime-story-joke

(While there are still some great things in my country – winning the rugby world cup, our Miss South Africa being crowned Miss Universe – the bad still outweighs the good, sadly.)

21 thoughts on “Lights out

  1. Oh I didn’t realise you lived in South Africa. I lived there as a young girl, many, many years ago and was fortunate enough to immigrate to Australia.

    It sounds really bad based on what you’ve written with your electricity failures, water supply issues as well as, your security issues. It seems like these things haven’t changed much over the years. That’s just so wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Things have changed drastically, sadly. The last five years have been the worst. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for any form of improvement – and yet, I still live in hope. I know it’s a contradiction, but I guess when you have no choice, giving up is still not an option.
      There is still much to love in this country, but not enough that I wouldn’t leave at the first opportunity. 😦 The opportunities are not there though, and so here we have to remain. Prayers for safety are uttered way too many times.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow I had no idea things were that bad in South Africa. I really am not one to keep up with events in the world. I have to admit you have a strong resolve to keep positive. Stronger than I would have if I was in your situation. I pray for you to have an opportunity come your way to either improve your situation or move somewhere that is better

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have my days where it seems hopeless, and I FEEL it. But those moments are brief. It is what we have at the moment – and it could be a lot worse when I look around at those who dwell in our midst. If I give in to a spiral of negativity then my life has no meaning.
      To be honest, every explored avenue to leave this country has ended in a closed door…and it does make me feel rather despondent.
      But I view it like this : there is a reason the windows and doors are all shut…for now. This is not our time. We are where we are for a purpose – and so, with a smile and an attempt to help others every day, we will keep on keeping on and wait.
      It’s all we have for now – but the children and I have each other, and we have amazing friends. We have the most important thing of all, an abundance of love. It doesn’t generate electricity or supply us with water – but it feeds our souls a lot! πŸ˜‰ The bonus of no electricity and all the phones in the house dying is that we revert to ‘the old days’, and my bed usually becomes a table for board games – even the dogs squash on πŸ™‚ and there’s usually a lot of laughter! Or we just sit and talk, and tell jokes. It’s always great family time – so there’s that to be happy about πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. I was worried about not hearing from you for a few days. I am so sorry that you have to deal with all of that. You have a great perspective though and handle it all with such grace. You are an inspiration. Praying for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry to hear this! I had no idea things were so bad where you are. I wish I were in a position to help you. I’m prayers your way that the electricity stays on for you. I wish you could move to the US!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so grateful for the knowledge that you are at least OK, because I have to admit that I was worried about you having not seen any of your blogs and posts this weekend πŸ€—πŸ˜ž
    It is really strange how you come to observe the patterns of people even in such a short space of time. I have noticed that some bloggers post frequently, some every couple of days and others just once a week, so when you have built up a rapport and friendship with someone who posts daily and then suddenly πŸ›‘ posting. It causes people to become concerned about the other person especially when the other person is friendly, welcoming and supportive as you are 😊.
    I don’t know much about South Africa although I studied quite a bit about apartheid, the treatment of people on both parts of the divide and such.
    It would be ideal if things had of improved although sometimes we take 1 step forward and 3 back and sometimes it probably seems more.
    I agree with you about the fact that people immediately think that money has been asked for whenever someone mentions that something has gone wrong, the point that a lot of people don’t realise is that no amount of money can fix things, people have to maintain their own sense of self, pride and dignity and I think that sometimes it is a way of highlighting the issues that concern people and their lives.
    You do an amazing job as a single parent with 2 young adults in the family and catering for their futures and your strength shows through in the things that you do. ❀️
    I actually have thought about sharing your blog and creating my own post around it, highlighting the issues but also bringing in some of my own thoughts about life in the UK especially around the 70s and 80s when we had 3 day weeks, electricity strikes, fuel and bread rationing and the 80s with the breaking of the unions, the wealth divide and the decision to make home ownership easier than ever before.
    I am so grateful that you are OK and my thoughts, prayers and blessings rest with you and your family πŸ™ 😘
    Take care my friend 😊
    Well done for the Rugby and Miss Universe and hopefully they will use their platforms to highlight the negative issues around your country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Paul. Doing the best I can ❀
      Those 3 day weeks? We live with one form or another almost every day. It's getting beyond repair. 😦
      I too am grateful though that we are okay. And I just pray that we stay that way.
      Much love to you and your lovely lady ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Meg,
        Sorry that I haven’t replied sooner to your message but WordPress has been playing up for me since before the weekend 😊
        My thoughts and prayers reach out to you and your children and pray in particular that you will all be safe and that resolutions will be found to your current situation in the future.
        Much love and warmth and if I can do anything to help you then please let me know β€οΈπŸ™

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Awww. Sorry about this cut back. I pray it gets resolved soon. I am from a country who has power supply issue as well. Some days we are totally out. So we have to bank on Generator or solar.

    Gracefully, we will keep moving through it all. It’s all for a while. And you will be fine – good!

    Liked by 1 person

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