Plug into the sun, the wind, anything but the socket

7 04 2008

By Jolanta Slomkowski

“Do you know that Zimbabwe’s first sign of degradation started with potholes and no electricity, come to think of it, South Africa doesn’t have enough electricity and our roads aren’t any better”. I just had to giggle when I first heard this comment, coincidentally; I was sitting in the dark at a cafe in Joburg 🙂

Ok, so we all hate load shedding and it ain’t good for businesses AT ALL and our lives are basically put on hold and girls can’t straighten their hair and my Gran can’t make a cup of coffee and it ain’t good for businesses AT ALL and our lives are basically put on hold. You get my drift. I just got tired of always phoning the Eskom customer ‘care’ line (08600ESKOM) to find out when the power will resume, that I decided to think more positively about this load shedding situation us South African’s are going to have to deal with.

Think about the effects of Global Warming, don’t they scare you?! In less than 50 years time or even less, my life is going to change and I won’t be able to change a damn about this. Funny thing happened though. I went onto the Eskom website, yes to check the times of possible load shedding in the G’spot (that’s Grahamstown to any out of towner’s) and I was intrigued by something. I found a link, ‘’ which is an initiative that aims at forming a global opinion group consisting of companies showing leadership in order to address the climate issues of the world and then implement new frameworks by 2013. Ever wondered if Eskom is actually implementing load shedding as one of its frameworks in order to combat climate change? Ok so it’s a bit too farfetched, I get that, but how about embracing load shedding as a possible solution to encouraging or even forcing people to switch over to renewable forms of energy. There’s all this technology out there, solar-powered cell phone chargers and wait for it…solar-powered clothing. Now this one took me aback. To put it simply, we can still charge our cell phone if the power goes out! In broader terms, for those more technically minded, we can reduce our necessity for coal and oil at least a little. Hopefully this ‘little’, when combined with everyone’s ‘little’ will make a BIG difference!

As individuals we can (apparently) make truly ethical choices in a way that the organization cannot.

Use it or don’t use it!

solar energysolar powered fan cap 




6 responses

7 04 2008

Firstly, I should mention that Zimbabwe enjoyed, as we all know, considerable economic independence before it’s political and economic downfall. South Africa enjoys considerable economic independence…. Hope for all your sakes, that is not a sign… 😉

Thank goodness however, you are still climbing the economic ladder and the gold market has made a profit for the first time yesterday since 1999 (if my interpretation of the news earlier today is correct). Despite the short-term problems you might face, they still predict long-term economic gain!

If it’s any consolation Namibia has had a 20% economic decline on our National index – only 16% less than the Zimbabwean index decline….

This might be a bit off the topic of your blog, but I thought I should tell you anyway.

8 04 2008

Did Namibia took over from white commercial farmers as well as Mugabe did? I hope that is not the cause.

8 04 2008

I really enjoyed reading this…. keep blogging 😀 I have also been thinking about how we’re all getting so caught up in how disruptive the power cuts are, when meanwhile, they are just an inevitable side-effect of of our terrible global approach to energy, our short-sightedness and our our reliance on fossil fuels. Most educated people nowadays are aware of global warming and climate change, and yet we still need to be forced by something like the load-shedding to actually make the move to renewable energy. Just out of interest, are you a journ student? What year, whats your specialisation? Are you new media by any chance? I did new media last year.

9 04 2008

Hi Laurie. Thank you! Great hearing from an ex-rhodent! Yes, I’m a 3rd year Journ student specialising in TV. Actually everyone involved in setting up and maintaining this blog is in my class and we wanted a ‘modern’ way of showcasing our work, ideas and thoughts. It’s been challenging as I’m new to this blogging phenomenon…my first time, but hugely exciting especially as it’s so interactive. You did new media, great! What are you doing now?

9 04 2008

The problem with global warming is that it’s only approached by educated people, if we can educate those people living in rural areas to stop cutting trees, and tells them to plant more we can achieve a difference. (Although in South Africa it’s impossible with load shedding) Lastly, we also need a different approach to Christianity; the idea that a man must use nature for survival is bad. If people, particularly Africans can go back to their tradition and believe in trees and other natural things, surely they can preserve nature.

11 04 2008

I’ts interesting what you say about Zimbabwe’s problems having started with potholes and a lack of electricity. Franz Fanon has it that no country with a history of unjust laws and violence can ever move forward and rebuild without a total collapse and violence. Maybe just maybe the problems that Zimbabwe is going through is so that they can re-establish themselves.

As much as I hate to say this, I think South Africa may be headed in the same direction. This whole nonsense about South Africans having to be proud of themselves for having undergone a pretty “peaceful” transition through concepts such as the rainbow nation and the TRC is a fallacy. We are brewing for a total meltdown I tell you. Racial disctriminatory incidents such as the one that took place at the University of the Free State and violent crimes are a sign that people don’t feel like one happy rainbow and there will come a time when all these colours will come together in action paint! Zimbabwean leaders will then be holding peace talks for South Africa :(.

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