Load Shedding (and new pics)

As an addendum to my previous blog, “48 Hours in Zululand,” here are the accompanying photos.

At various times during our trip, we joined with South African residents in experiencing rolling blackouts or “loadshedding.” Traffic lights were inoperable. Lights and air conditioning went off — one side of a shopping mall was dark — although some stores still allowed customers in(!). ATMs were out of business.

The current infrastructure, much of it in disrepair, simply cannot keep up with the demand for electricity. Although these outages are “scheduled,” it doesn’t always go according to plan. It’s hurting businesses, many of which have been forced to use generators. But generators are expensive and most small businesses cannot afford them.

For South Africans, it’s a major issue, often resulting in violent protests. For us, it was a minor inconvenience, particularly in that the outages play havoc with the already slow internet. Signals bounce around the sky and routers reboot. Thus, my photos were nearly impossible to upload but here they are now…

 

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