Residents react to load shedding

Rolling blackouts are back.

Just over a week after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the move to Alert Level 1 and an easing of lockdown restrictions, Eskom announced there’d be load shedding – with Stage 2 being implemented over the weekend.

Residents who spoke to us about this felt like they had just been given some reprieve, only to have to worry about being in the dark again.

While one felt that lockdown restrictions and load shedding were ways of “controlling the masses”, another said the upcoming local election “should be a guide to getting the big problem fixed”.

Here’s what residents had to say about the implementation of load shedding and how this affected their confidence in national government and who they would vote for in the upcoming municipal election.

Intishaam Cupido, 22, student, Retreat: “We were introduced to lockdown level 1, which made us very happy, just in time for elections. Now (Eskom) is giving us stage 2 load shedding. It is frustrating. What is the reason? It sheds light on how the governing party is not able to govern at all.”
Raafique Van Der Merwe, 22, gym consultant, Bonteheuwel: “I have never been interested in voting, because none of the parties involved really care about our people. They pretend to care during campaigns (but) once it’s over, the interest stops as well. Look what happens in our areas – load shedding hits in the area where I live and we are gang ridden. So, once the lights goes off, the war starts.”
Mavis Sprang, 74, pensioner, Parow: “I don’t feel safe at all during load shedding. As an elderly woman who takes care of herself, it is very concerning. These blackouts are very settling.”
Heinrich Martin, 47, teacher, Bellville: “It’s funny how politicians want to play politics rather to educate us. The country must move forward and get councillors whose main interest is helping you. If you had a municipal issue and you don’t know your councillor, don’t vote for him or her. Party politics is what it is. This is a local election and make sure that you put people there who represent your community. Let’s focus on local issues, this local election should be a guide to getting the big problem fixed”.
Tracy-Lee Bieding, 24, social media manager, Bellville: “I think it is extremely convenient that the minute we go into level 1, we are hit with load shedding, whereas the entire time we were in adjusted level 2 we did not have any load shedding. The last time we experienced it was in July. The country turns off power whenever they feel. This could be a way of controlling the masses without showing us directly. Voting seems like such a difficult thing because who will actually help us and not just be in favour of helping themselves?”.
Load shedding is expected to continue until at least 5am on Thursday October 14. You can check your schedule on the “Eskom Se Push” app.