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  3. I live in South Africa, and they’ve been forced to do advertising campaigns like this for a while now.

    A couple years ago, something went wrong with Koeberg, a Nuclear Power plant nearby Cape Town. After major power outages it became apparent that Eskom wasn’t able to keep up with the huge population growth and it’s electricity needs.

    So right now South Africa is attempting to construct more power stations, expected to be finished over the next few years. I’m holding thumbs that everything goes to plan!

    Just a little background from a local.

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  5. It’s more like we are forced to use less electricity or risk being cut off for a few hours, the main reason, Eskom giving away our electricity to Zimbabwe and blaming us for increased use.

  6. Ha ! If only they could deliver like their advertising agency does…Try rolling “load shedding”, another way of saying “hey, we gave ourselves a bonus instead of giving YOU more power stations, now we are giving you less power but still charging you for it ! Eskom = “hello third world”. Jim In South Africa where once there were NEVER power failures.

  7. Affirmative action has left Eskom without the expertise to manage Koeberg, which is running at about 20% of its potential. Now they cut our power as they see fit (“load shedding”) because it’s “our own fault”. As mentioned, they’d rather spend money on clever adverts (which it certainly is) than hiring the people who can do the job.

    Absolutely ludicrous!

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  9. That only means they have a single UPS active for the sign. If you look at the background you will find that there is a power outage again. Hello darkness my old friend, ieshkom shut the power down again. 🙂

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  11. It might be difficult for South Africans to cope with having to reduce energy consumption only because they are sharing with Zimbabwe; the truth however is that S.Africans aren’t the only ones in this situation. Energy conservation is a worldwide concern. I forsee that in the near future,the daily quota of energy per indivividual will be predetermined and every one of us will forced to consume only enough to stay alive.

  12. This is the kind of simplicity that will win this fight.
    It’s simply a matter of being less materialistic.

    It’s dead easy.

  13. How many people are NOT PAYING??


    The Playing customers are subsidizing the NON PAYING CUSTOMERS AND THIEVES.

  14. How green are carbide lamps? These simple lamps used to be common in mining, were attached to cycles, and were the main lighting tool for cave exploration for many years. The British made Premier Carbide Cap Lamp seems to have gone out of production some years ago – a few examples can be found for sale on EBay as collectors items these days.
    The carbide lamp operates because of a chemical reaction between calcium carbide, and water:

    CaC2 + H2O => C2H2 + CaO + heat

    However, there is another chemical reaction that occurs within the lamp bottom between the lime (calcium oxide) and the water to produce calcium hydroxide.

    CaO + H2O => Ca(OH)2

    A net search shows there seems to be a company with an Italian type of name Triveno Corporation CL TMC which still makes a carbide lamp but perhaps the production is in China as the website’s home page appears first in Chinese.Carbide lamps in the USA these days seem to be for outdoorsmen use in the main.
    Carbide lamps if environmentally acceptible and reasonably safe might be an option for ESKOM in SA to subsidize for the poor as they will remain poor for centuries if their kids don’t get quality education and have light to study under! Shack fires are already a horrendous problem in South African cities so Carbide lights probably won’t introduce any particularly new element of danger than already exists with parrafin stoves and candles and could be a whole lot safer?
    How widespread the use of carbide lamps would have to become before showing even a dent in the electricity supply vs demand problem southern Africa currently faces is, I guess, the major limiting practicality of going back to carbide power in homes?
    Does anyone know of a supplier or manufacturer of carbide lamps here in South Africa?
    John Davison

  15. I back to differ with some of you who said that electricity woes are fuelled by Zimbabwe. We South Africans are the ones to blame, eskom has not faced this problem today. We lacked foresight as well as being reluctant to invest in power generation. Iam saying this because Zimbabwe too is in these squables so we can,t shoulder our shortcomings on another country. The only way forward is to upgrade our power stations and build new ones.

  16. The billboard is clever in the simplicity of its message. Locally the humour of it will not have escaped South Africans. For example, the billboard will more often than not be in darkness due to load shedding (a sanatised way of saying we don’t have enough juice to supply all our customers’ needs). We tend to forget that Eskom used to produce more electricity than is does currently. What a pity the advertiser is not as bright as its message!

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  18. John Davison asks: how green are carbide lamps?
    I don’t know the full answer, but a lot of energy is used in making the calcium carbide, and more in transporting this solid fuel to the lamp users. And, unless the carbide is 100% pure, other gases are formed that would be unhealthy to breathe in a confined space (cavers tend not to stay in caves for extened periods).

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  20. I’ve been doing energy conservation campaign in my company for almost a year now, and I think that this advertisement is really interesting!
    We need to be able to find something that will attract the attention of people.

  21. Ohh I like this, way to think outside of the box.

    Very cool, very artsy. Quite well done.

    I want one where I live.

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