Finding the good part of obstacles (aka loadshedding)

Some of my American friends find the concept of loadshedding crazy. In a nutshell, the power utility doesn’t have enough power to supply South Africa with electricity, so we have loadshedding. Depending on the severity on a particular day of the week, we might have no loadshedding (happiness!), or anything from stages 1 – 3/4.

Many of the municipalities are very organised and if an area is due to be hit say from 6 – 8 pm, then on the dot of 6 the power goes out and exactly at 8 pm, it comes back on.

In Johannesburg, they don’t stick to schedules very well so some days I rush home from work, forgo a lovely winter evening walk because I’m frantically heating food, boiling water, etc. and … nothing. Or we’re not scheduled and we have loadshedding.

Very, very frustrating for all, but definitely for the structured people out there.

You could obviously buy a generator – I still am not convinced…. – and these run anything from R4500 to R30 000 (these are figures two friends have paid). I can think of better things to do with that money 😉


In the meanwhile, there are a few positive things I can think of about loadshedding.

This is not just a post about loadshedding, but about how to use a negative situation to find some good in it:

  1. Traffic is awful with the traffic lights out. I make sure my phone and my power bank are fully charged when I leave the office and listen to audio books and podcasts while driving home. I have never been this up to date with my audios 🙂
  2. We all go to bed earlier. I am a firm sleep advocate and believe 90% of people sleep less than they should (me included), so when there’s loadshedding, we all get to bed earlier and catch up on sleep. I have yet to tally up my sleep for June but loadshedding has definitely increased my average.
  3. I have a mental list of things to do when there’s no power. One of them is editing photos. There is usually enough power on my laptop to work for a good few hours on photos. It is nice to not be that behind anymore.
  4. I can’t go on the internet because the wifi doesn’t work, so I’m finding that I tidy up a few areas of the house that normally I would leave.
  5. Because I know there may be loadshedding at a particular hour, I’m extremely efficient getting going with things like supper, writing a blog post, getting lunches made, etc. while we still have power.
  6. It’s winter so very cold, and so we snuggle and read bedtime stories with the kids in my bed. I ADORE this part of loadshedding.
  7. …and on a lighter note, I’m finally burning all those candles 🙂 Very satisfying for me, as I’m a finisher.

Tell me your stories about loadshedding, and how you’re making the best of it, or other obstacles in your life.

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  1. We all got into bed at 8 last night when loadsheddig hit and all read books with our headlamps. It was great – and we all fell asleep before the power came on at 10:15 – when H just went to shut all down .
    Cat@jugglingact recently posted..On printing those memories

  2. I can’t seem to update anything on your 1,2,3, blog from work – it blocks it the application – bummer! Anyway, came across this post and firstly – on what your friends paid for generators – we’ve been investigating different options but wow, are things expensive!! My husband got a quote for installation and connection to batteries from two companies last week for an invertor…R143,000 and R27,000…so different but both soooooooooo much more than I want to pay or for that matter, than I can afford. So I went to Builders Warehouse and bought a few more pop-up lights (at R100 each) and that’s what we’ll use for now at least. I’m trying to eliminate the candles what with a 6.5month old and a 3.5year old in the house…candles just don’t work!! Secondly, I cook the night before on most nights so the cooking problem is eliminated. Warming up is another issue. If it’s something in a pot, I warm up on the gas stove – not a full four plate gas stove, we have that old fashioned one that you use a candle to light up and can only warm one thing at a time 🙂 The nanny makes sure that Riley’s bottles are done every day by the time I come home anyway so if we have loadshedding from 6 – 10:30pm (the worse kind – we’ve had that two weekends on Friday Saturday AND Sunday…how unfair!!) in the week, at least Riley’s milk is sorted. And I’m fortunate that both kids go to bed without any lights on so once they’re down for the night, the loadshedding doesn’t quite bother me. It’s more the bathing the kids and them eating by candlelight or minimal pop up lights that bothers me. Lastly, even though our wifi is down in loadshedding, we still use 3G so I imagine we’re racking up enormous bills. I wonder if Eskom can subsidise me, hahahaha.

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