Loadshedding has been around for fifteen years in SA and it has never been as bad as it is now. However, while many of us simply sit around and wait for our lights to turn off three or four times a day, we have also wondered how exactly the process takes place. You would think that by now, there would be some advanced technical equipment involved with scheduling the turning off and restoration of electricity in South Africa – sadly that is not the case. It is just some guy that walks around a room and flips switches on and off…. no joke.
Honestly, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Eskom’s management skills are likely better suited for million-rand Christmas party planning rather than implementing a decently-run system that ensures South Africans go off and on when they are scheduled to.
A video that has gone viral on TikTok (it was uploaded in September but has recently gained huge traction) shows a guy walking around the Rustenberg Municipality plant switching off the loader boxes as he ruins someone’s day by turning the horrible loadshedding to Stage 4. The big concern here isn’t really how badly implemented the loadshedding system is. Rather, the fact that the worker isn’t wearing any sort of protection wear operating the equipment that runs at over 11000 volts of electricity.
@mandisidyantyi Load Shedding stage 4 operating 11000 volts without an arc flash suit, this is asking for trouble. It has become a norm to commit unsafe acts in the work place. #Rustenburg ♬ original sound – mandisidyantyi
There’s another video of the guy working outside as he turns on and off the power in a substation box. While he does put on protective headgear, he isn’t even wearing gloves as he sticks the metal rod into the box to turn the switch on and off.
@mandisidyantyiThe mandatory arc flash suit, operating in an 11000 volts T3 restoration of the supply after fixing a minisub fault♬ Hard Work – U.S. Drill Sergeant Field Recordings
Users who found the video have joked about how this worker is now public enemy no 1. But the real issue here is the lack of proper protective wear. I always kind of guessed that this terrible act of loadshedding was done by some prehistoric method of flipping switches but at least make sure the workers are safe when doing so.