It's the word on every South African's lips these days.
(For my non-South African readers: no, this has nothing to do with going to the toilet and getting rid of THAT load, as you might be inclined to deduce from the title of this post or the word itself or even from the fact that I've been known to cultivate an obsession with potty topics. Rather, load-shedding describes the event when Eskom, the beloved (and on this very blog much written-about) public utility turns off the power for a few (and often a lot of) hours every day because there simply isn't enough for everyone.)
Load-shedding isn't really anything new. It's a problem that has haunted South Africa for years but has recently returned with full fervor. The two big coal plants that have been under construction for eons, Medupi and Kusile, are something like 3 years behind schedule, bedeviled by a scarcity in skilled labor, bad project management, a raging legal battle between the various contractors, and of course a scourge of endless and often violent strikes - the one skill South Africa's labor force has honed to perfection. I have a husband who could tell you a thing or two about all that. For a more in-depth explanation about load-shedding you might like to read this article with the apt headline "shedding a light on load shedding", published by a rather unlikely expert on load-shedding and, incidentally, my favorite wine label Vrede en Lust.
But fortunately, no one can joke about such a kak situation as well as the South African people, so here I give you the - ahem - lighter side of load-shedding (I stole this phrase from the site Traveller24).
What did South Africa use before candles?
New work of South African historical fiction: Fifty Sheds of Dark
Eskom has added stage 4 load shedding. For those of you who are unsure, it means start collecting firewood. #eishkom
By the way, the #eishkom tag is a great way to find and share good load-shedding jokes on Twitter. Incidentally, if you Google load-shedding, quite a few jokes about Pakistan surface. Well done South Africa, to find yourself in such good company!
In a drive to save on electricity consumption, the light at the end of the tunnel has been switched off till further notice. Kindly postpone all hopes and dreams. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Load shedding stage 5: Eskom switching off the sun and the moon. #eishkom
Eskom has good news and bad news, bad news is the shit is going to hit the fan!…Good news is the fan is off due to #loadshedding.
From the site www.eskomsucks.wordpress.com, I gleaned this one:
Baby Bear : Who ate my porridge?
Daddy Bear: Who ate my porridge?
Mommy Bear: I HAVEN’T MADE THE F**KING PORRIDGE! THE F**KING POWER HAS BEEN CUT!!
Do you have more? Please share!
Many thanks to Lara McGinty Kinfoil, Sue Harwood, and the SA People Facebook page for their input.