Living under the oppressive cloud of relentless power outages, residents of Macassar, a suburb in Western Cape, have issued a desperate plea to President Cyril Ramaphosa. They are pleading for intervention to alleviate the darkness imposed by persistent load shedding.
Persistent Load Shedding in Macassar
Due to deteriorating Eskom infrastructure, Macassar, ironically, has turned into an emblem of darkness within South Africa. Power outages in the area have a penchant for lingering well beyond the designated load shedding schedules. With a solitary substation serving the entire suburb, citizens lament that they frequently face a full day without electricity. This perpetual darkness has left the inhabitants pleading for an “urgent intervention.”
The Human Cost
Shaheen Waggie, a local resident, paints a stark picture of life under these conditions, remarking, “This is not normal. Electricity is a basic need. How are we supposed to live under these conditions?” Waggie also highlighted the particular struggles faced by the sick and elderly, reliant on electricity for essential medical equipment. “We are in the dark, Mr President,” Waggie urged.
Rosaline Booysen, another resident, revealed the toll that the unending power cuts have taken on her health. Booysen, who relies on a nebuliser for her asthma, shared her anxiety about not being able to use her life-sustaining machine during these prolonged outages.
Gillian Daniels’ poignant story underscores the health risks associated with these power disruptions. Daniels’ husband, a quadriplegic, relies on an electric bed to prevent painful bed sores. Daniels voiced her concerns about the lack of power rendering his bed ineffective, potentially causing severe health complications.
A Plea for Help
Ward councillor, Peter Helfrich, has taken up the mantle to address the ongoing crisis in Macassar. Helfrich drafted an open letter to President Ramaphosa, aiming to draw the president’s attention to the electricity crisis tormenting the local residents. The councillor accused Eskom of failing to maintain or protect its infrastructure, leading to frequent cable failures and consequent long stretches of darkness in the ward.
Helfrich’s letter, echoing the sentiments of his constituents, implored the president to comprehend their exasperation. He wrote, “We appeal to you to urgently intervene.” The plea for respite from the unbearable conditions they face daily resonates throughout the community, especially among the elderly and vulnerable.
President Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, confirmed receipt of the letter, giving a glimmer of hope to the beleaguered residents of Macassar. It’s now up to the president to shed light on this dark situation.