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Rolling blackouts, water crisis threatening survival of Pearston residents in eastern Karoo

Rolling blackouts, water crisis threatening survival of Pearston residents in eastern Karoo
Residents of Pearston in Eastern Cape protest over continuous rolling blackouts and water shortages. (Photo: Supplied by Street Talk)

‘There’s no way a human being can sit without water for seven days’, says Xoliswa Pisani from Pearston in the Eastern Cape. Water supply systems require electricity — and in this arid Karoo area it is not only Eskom who creates an uninhabitable environment. On top of national rolling blackouts the town suffers ‘Pearston loadshedding’ for up to eight hours a day, and at times 24-hour blackouts.

In this 15-minute documentary, Jimmy, Ambrose, Xoliswa, Chantel, Babes, and Yvonne discuss the Blue Crane Route Municipality’s (BCRM) failure to maintain the power lines, and how they struggle to survive. At a community-organised march, town residents and farmers delivered a petition and suggested solutions to BCRM. The participants’ stories are that of disaster, and they have little hope that their so far peaceful cries for help will be heard.

The film was produced by Street Talk TV, a ground-breaking television and film series aired weekly on community television and on YouTube. In 15-minute films we capture and expose the lived realities and uncensored views of people living in South Africa. 

Street Talk Logo

Street Talk TV, a non-profit organisation, was launched in 2008. For more than 700 searchable films and our latest news, visit us at, & 

Disclaimer: Street Talk TV encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of participants who appear in the series – Street Talk TV – are, therefore, their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the producers. DM


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