On Friday night, 10 August, a high-voltage transformer at the Mount Road, Port Elizabeth substation blew up, causing extensive damage to equipment and the substation itself and affected the electricity supply to a number of areas east of Cape Road including North End from Kempston Road, Central, the Russell Road area, Perridgevale, up to Greenacres, Sydenham and Holland Park.
For us in Parsons Hill the electricity was off until around 8:30 pm.
Foe most families in the affected area the unexpected electricity crisis was one for a spot of old time fun and family bonding. In the morning we braved the ‘off the pace drivers’ up Cape Road who still have not grasped that in the absence of robots the intersections become 4 way stop streets. Stopping in at H.A.L Fennell for a gas heater was a treat as we observed people patiently waiting for their gas bottles to be filled. Not one of the people present seemed fazed by the inconvenience of not having electricity.
Back at Casa Famiglia we had a great time on the patio with our gas braai, light and heater keeping us warm as we thumbed our well worn Uno cards, talked and laughed.
A whole Saturday away from the computer and other electronic games did us a world of good and helped to remind us just how privileged we are to enjoy the basic services of Electricity and Water on tap for 99% of the time – in stark contrast to many of our fellow citizens.
Let’s do it again sometime soon.
PS: If Derek (or anyone else) from H.A.L Fennell is reading this – feel free to contact me if you would like to thank MyPE for the advertising – I am thinking a gas hob would be a good start to add to my collection of ‘off the grid’ appliances!