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Powerless - the saga continues

Posted by: Jas


Its day three without power, and this morning I had no water too.  I think the ironic thing is the area in which the fault occurred actually had power last night (a friend of mine drove through it and instantly WhatsApp’d me – the indignity of it all).

What amazes me is that we’re meant to be in this age of smarter grids – smarter ways of delivering power and utility services, and yet when one substation goes down, it blankets out a massive area including the likes of Rosebank, Melrose Arch, Illovo, Hyde Park, and Inanda. Surely it should be easy enough to think of it like the Internet – a self-healing network of cables where you can route power through other suburbs to provide electricity?

What about reduncancy? Surely it doesn’t make logical sense to have one of the economic centres (Rosebank and Melrose Arch at least!) of JHB to be routed through some odd off-the-beaten-track suburb?

While the media has reported that certain areas have had their power restored – I can tell you, as a resident and without power, the most certainly have not. Even my friends that live in other suburbs affected by the outage report that they are still lacking that vital component in our lives: electricity. It’s been a common complaint since Wednesday night.

The biggest problem I have is the waste of money throughout this whole ordeal. My deep freeze has defrosted completely, so anything that was in there is either spoilt or perhaps suspect – since you shouldn’t really defrost then re-freeze meat (or isn’t that taboo?).

Everything in my fridge has gone off, and I’ve had to spend extra money that I wouldn’t ordinarily have spent on going out for dinners (not to mention having to drive to these places for dinner, with increases in the cost of petrol this week) – with costs adding up to quite a high value even though I’ve been conservative about places I’ve gone out to eat.

Who do I speak to in order to get a rebate from this? No-one, it seems, we’re just another ‘casualty’ of some large monopoly getting its “fair” share of its profits at the inconvenience of the people its meant to provide a service to.  Yet when Eskom is woefully under-prepared to supply the nation with power because of their own incompetence in developing new power stations – who has to pay for it? The consumer!

Comments (5)Add Comment
written by Jawellnofine, April 08, 2011
This is a JHB Power issue and not Eskom.

What you say is quite true in theory i.e. redundancy, smart power grids, etc. Unfortunately the whole caboodle relies on a fine balance between supplying power and economics.

Jhb Power is suffering with outdated power grids and not enough money for upgrades.

Given their billing woes, I do not foresee much action being taken in the foreseeable future.

*I would like to see Jhb Power/Metro (or any other Metro/Municipality for that matter) handle reduced sales as more and more people start installing Solar Hot Water Geysers at their homes!?
written by Jawellnofine, April 08, 2011
By the way: In the past, one could claim for lost food due to freezers defrosting due to unscheduled power failures.

Give it a try.
The Pianist
written by The Pianist, April 08, 2011
Aw Jamie, pop round if you need anything ok? Shower, supper whatever you need
written by Doolally, April 08, 2011
I live on a farm on the outskirts of a small town... quite close (within 20km) of a city and don't have power or water at least once a month... and that is an Eskom problem. Their one power station is on the farm I live on and they are forever sending technicians to fix it. My dogs are so used to their technicians they don't even bark if they walk through m yard anymore!
written by Jawellnofine, April 08, 2011
@Doolally - The usual rule of thumb in determining area responsibility is: to whom do you pay your utilities account?

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