With tempers flaring and frustrations piling up because of the continued
loadshedding, there might just be some good news at the end of the candle’s wick.
According to Nicolaas Esterhuysen of the University of the Free State’s University Estates, with urgent government interventions, such as private public partnerships, loadshedding could largely be mitigated within the next two years, and a constant, reliable supply is possible within five years.
Esterhuysen says that for now, however, the biggest impact is on
the economic growth of the country. “Now that we should be recovering from the after-effects of the pandemic, loadshedding is eliminating all progress made thus far.” He adds that the impact of loadshedding can be felt by how the lifespan of electrical infrastructure, appliances and equipment has decreased. “The frequency of loadshedding results in more regular breakdowns and increased maintenance.”
He advised residents to ensure that all electronic equipment is protected with
surge arrester sockets, as loadshedding has a significant impact on home
Bloemfontein Courant also spoke to people from different sectors of the
economy. Here is what they had to say:
Pieter Lourens says he is “fed up” with loadshedding. “If it does not harm my workplace, it harms my family. I pay all my fees on time. Why should we be punished?”
Tiffany Janse, who does charity work for her church, says, “It’s difficult to communicate with people … in a way it slows down production.” She adds, “I’m not mad with loadshedding because I do think that this is maybe an opportunity… to help the earth. In a sense, loadshedding isn’t that bad for me. I see it in a positive way. Any way to conserve energy, I will be happy with. In the end we all have to do our part otherwise the planet is not going to survive for very long.”
A staff member at Fichardt Park Clinic, who asked to remain anonymous, had this to say: “We are affected by loadshedding because there are services we cannot render when the power cuts. Certain machinery stops working and we don’t have any back-ups in that regard; unlike when we are faced with a water crisis, local area managers can’t help with this issue, as it is beyond their control.”
The effects of loadshedding stretch far and wide; it also affects the media industry. Nick Efstathiou, the CEO of the Central Media Group, states, “Loadshedding, unstable power supply and failing infrastructure has left OFM disappointed in the service delivery from the state-owned enterprise, Sentech. We feel the frustration of our listeners not being able to listen to their favourite radio station. We will continue to engage the state-owned enterprise to ensure that the sound of your life continues to broadcast with a high quality content offering and through high quality technology.”