Are we at war? And if we are, who is the enemy?

Load limiting, as it’s called, is nothing other than the rationing of electricity.


Oupa Mike, my maternal grandfather, was a great storyteller. Although he seldom volunteered tales of his days as an airplane mechanic during World War II, I could always coax a few stories out of him.

As all orators know, it is sometimes best to braid fact and fiction together to keep your audience enthralled. As a boy, I never once believed that anything my grandfather told me was fictitious.

For quite a few years, I believed that they really did tie those old-fashioned metal milk containers to the underbelly of a plane, sent the pilot up to the edge of space and enjoyed frozen ice cream once the plane had landed.

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I also believed that they once dropped a depth-charge at a German U-boat which had surfaced and the bomb just happened to land ` in the hatch of the submarine, where it was lodged in solidly. The submarine crew knew if they pushed it out, it would explode. And unable to close the hatch, they couldn’t dive. Oupa Mike’s version of Catch-22.

But he also told me about hunger. Food rationing was a harsh and unbearable reality during and after the war, for civilians, soldiers, and prisoners. One of the results of the war was that the production of food was severely stifled.

There was a time, and it’s not fiction, when French, British and German troops were provided with around 3 200 calories a day, or 4 000 to 4 400 calories in winter, or when they were fighting. In Britain, food rationing for the general population only ended completely in 1954, nine years after the war had ended.

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Oupa Mike’s stories flooded my memories when I heard the news that the government is implementing a new rationing plan. This plan, however, does not involve food, but electricity.

Load limiting, as it’s called, is nothing other than the rationing of electricity.

Considering what an important role a flow of electricity plays in the food production cycle, perhaps we should ask if this will not lead to food rations in future. Rationing is a reality of war.

Are we at war? And if we are, who is the enemy?

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