And the loadshedding is back

Hello darkness my old friend

Zoë Poulsen
2 min readOct 16, 2022
Photo by Carolinie Cavalli on Unsplash

It is early evening in our corner of Cape Town’s southern Peninsula, in South Africa at the southwestern tip of the African continent before reaching the Atlantic Ocean beyond.

I am busy writing, while the kettle is perched outside on my camping stove in the garden. It is on a picnic table shaded by the fresh green leaves of a grape vine.

Meanwhile, a flock of Cape white eye birds outside the window are busy feasting on the nectar of my pots of Yellow Forest Lilies (Veltheimia bracteata). They are nearing the end of their flowering season and starting to look a little tired, but the white eyes don’t seem to mind.

You might wonder why I am making tea in the garden instead of in the kitchen like most keen tea drinkers.

Loadshedding is back again…

For first-time visitors to South Africa, loadshedding is an unfamiliar concept. It was introduced in 2007 when the country’s national power provider announced that it was no longer able to supply electricity to the entire country at the same time.

Rooted in corruption, a lack of maintenance, theft and vandalism, the economic impact of South Africa’s ever increasing power crisis has been far reaching.



Zoë Poulsen

Botanist, freelance writer and conservationist based in Cape Town at the heart of South Africa’s Cape Floristic Region.