Before traveling to
Really, the only inconvenience I have experienced during these black-outs is when the traffic signals (or robots as they are called in
When Sea Point was in a rolling black out, I was in the
In addition to the beading that Eunice and the others do for Monkeybiz, Eunice started a woman’s empowerment project called Iliwa Laphakade (Xhosa for “eternal pillar). Iliwa Laphakade is a sewing project that employs township women who mostly make track suits and uniforms for school children. A number of women were busy at their sewing machines when we arrived at Eunice’s home. Eunice was showing us the projects that were being worked on when suddenly every sewing machine in the room went silent. Eunice smiled and threw her hands up in the air. The rolling black-out had hit Khayelitsha. Which meant that work for these women had ended for the day and, of course, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
When I read about the electricity shortage in
I also thought about the macro economic ramifications that the shortages are creating in
Back in my hotel that night, with electricity restored, I watched BBC News in my air conditioned room. Just like Sea Point, electricity was back in Khayelitsha, but the women who sew at Iliwa Laphakade will never recoup the money they failed to earn that day. And, the rolling black-outs will continue into the future causing frustration at robots, discomfort for tourists, and lost wages for poor people.