Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Jozi blues: constant rain, leaking roof, and darkness

I love living in Jo'burg, really I do. Even though it's a dangerous and sometimes terrifying city, I can think of at least ten brilliant reasons to live here (see next post), and there isn't a crowbar big enough to prise me out of it. But may I indulge in a small whinge?

It's raining - no, it's bucketing down, and it's been like this for a full three days. All very well (us Joburgians love rain) but it's not much fun when the roof's leaking like a rusty colander. A massive hailstorm last year punched enormous holes in the five ancient (ie, circa-Seventies) plastic-tiled skylights in our roof, and I still haven't found a roofing contractor who's willing to fix the damage. Buckets and bowls absorb most of the downpour, but the carpets are sodden and smell like farty old dogs, and the farty old dogs are howling non-stop in the driveway. (Let them in? Are you mad? Never mind the muddy paws: I'm just not, not, going to scrape another puppy poo off the carpet.)

Then there are the power cuts. I'm not going to whine about load-shedding - there's enough of that going on - but I would like to register a feeble protest: surely four power failures in a single afternoon and evening is pushing it a bit? Our house has been flicking on and off like a slow-motion Christmas tree since 3.30 pm today.

Then there's the traffic. Errrrrgggg. It's a good thing I don't live in Fourways (how on earth do you people cope?) and don't use the freeways that often (bless your patient souls) but even so I'm maddened by the fact that so many traffic lights are dead, and unmanned by pointsmen, for so many hours a day.

(Note to the head of the Metro Police: I can see the logic of deploying hundreds of your gallant officers to lurk in the bushes with speed cameras, and to monitor every stop sign in the city in case a motorist puts a wheel a centimetre across the stop line; this is, I agree, a brilliant revenue stream for your department, and of course a lovely source of lolly for cops who can't resist a bribe. But any chance you could focus on the traffic lights when the power goes out? You never know, you might save a life or two. And, while I'm on the subject, how about fixing some of the faulty traffic lights that don't work even when we do have power? I refer you to the suggestion made by The Star's James Clarke last year: Put a chimp in charge of the traffic lights in Johannesburg and pay him in bananas. He might not achieve a lot, but you will save yourselves R270 000 a year.)

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Audrey said...

! 3 days? It's been bloody raining for bloody two weeks around here (near-east). I have never, ever, ever complained about rain before, not even in england. And before it rained for two weeks this past two weeks it rained for two weeks before that. It stopped raining for one day and that was the 12th and that was my birthday. Lucky that, except that that was the day our power was out for a bit :-)

Move to Germiston, everyone. Hardly any power cuts.

Rolf Matchen said...

Roof damage can be caused by different factors, including the weather. A massive hailstorm can damage the roof significantly. You should fix it before it turns into a more serious problem than just leaks. Patch up the hole until you find a roof contractor that will help you fix the problem. Good luck with the roof! I hope it lasts long enough until you find a roofer.

Nelson Mcglaughlin said...

I could only imagine the annoyance the 3 days of raining would bring me, had I not totally fixed and replaced our roof. Before, our living room and kitchen used to flood like a river due to the holes that's been ignored that caused a huge damage to its foundation.

Nelson Mcglaughlin

Francisco Close said...

While we can not prevent rain from bucketing down, we could save our roofs from damage. Most roof leaks are due to little damages that goes undetected and ignored over time. So, the best remedy is to constantly check our roof to make sure it doesn't harbor little holes and the shingles are complete, and if you spot a problem, fix it right away.

Roofing Bronx said...

Great post!