Mdantsane folk bemoan beastly cuts

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Bongeka Mnqibise of Mdantsane is being hit from above and below, by Eskom and izinyoka.
She said: “It’s become unbearable getting a cooked meal nowadays, because every time I’m cooking something, the power goes out. There are times when we’ve thought we’re going to beat the schedule and cook before the outages occur, but we’ve had too many surprises. Sometimes we never know if it’s load-shedding or izinyoka (illegal connections), which is also a big problem in our community.”
Gas sales are on the rise in Mdantsane as families and businesses look to alternative options to cope with random outages.
Mthunzi Ndzunzu, owner of Qunu’s Gas, an Easigas dealership in NU1 said: “We’ve picked up a bit, and there are people coming in getting quotes and enquiring about utilising gas in their households.”
Mnqibise, of NU3, said she brought a gas stove last week after experiencing a lot of frustration with cooking and no electricity.
Mnqibise said while she was considering getting a gas fridge too, it was not a priority.
“The fridge and the freezer usually stay cold until the electricity comes back, but my biggest concern is the fridge actually becoming faulty more than anything else,” she said.
Tavern owner Mluleki Bam of Nice Time Spot in NU7 said business was taking a knock.
“I’m a small business and cannot afford a generator, but with the load-shedding, my tills stop working and it gets a little chaotic inside the tavern. People become opportunistic and a few have complained of being pick-pocketed, but those are things that are beyond my control.
“Load-shedding does kill the vibe, although some people still sit around and drink because they are so used to the environment,” he said.
Nanziwe Mgudlwa, a NU13 resident, said they couldn’t afford gas so her family was collectively gathering wood, something she did as a child.
“It is ridiculous that in this day and age, 25 years after democracy, we are back to doing things like we were under the apartheid era. We are collecting twigs, wood, anything we think can to light a fire, and we heat our water in drums for bath time in the mornings and prepare whatever meals we have to while the fire is still strong.
“We just celebrated Human Rights Day, but really there’s nothing to celebrate,” she said...

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