• Sandra Caganoff

Triple feature, lights, water, ceiling!

This morning when I picked up my coffee, the Barista told me he’d had no power at his home for a week. City Power Johannesburg, who we rely on to fix all our electrical stuff, are not fixing all our stuff. The infrastructure is crumbling and it appears the powers that be are crumbling too.


So I said I would try help him. I’m on Twitter which I have found to be a great platform to ask for help, albeit if just to complain on.

I got home, sipped my coffee, and tweeted. While I tweeted, a man fell through my ceiling. He'd been fixing my geyser. One leg up, one down. I was on my bed and while the dust and bits of concrete rained on my white duvet cover, I hardly reacted.

I am expecting everything to crumble.

Like my Barista, I’d had no power the week before. Not for a week, but for a few days. Like everyone in my hood, I’d had no water either. When the geyser burst, it was kind of par for the course. And I am a lucky one. I could get hold of City Power and Johannesburg Water, air my grievances and luckily, phone insurance. I could go to a friend to shower and I could cry on my friend’s shoulders.

I could use my iPhone flashlight and watch movies in the dark with all my collected data.

Last week I watched Nomadland with the beyond extraordinary Frances McDormand. This is a movie about grief, loss, and mostly, about community. And how in this extraordinary community of Nomads, in the most difficult times of their lives, or maybe the most meaningful, there is always a shoulder to lean on.

What I am thinking of, in this collapsing city of ours, is how much we need each other. And like the Nomads, we have got to find new ways of doing things. Or we are going to keep crumbling.

The man who fell through my ceiling is fine. It was just one foot really. The ceiling is already being replaced. My duvet has been washed. The paint colours are being matched. And while my house is going to look lovely again, oops here comes the other foot, a whole leg, OH GOD HELP, Johannesburg is not.

Her holes are just getting bigger.

How do we do this, friends. Protests on the streets? Street groups, looking after each other? Communities, twinning with other communities, bringing their own skills in, to help and fix each other.

I don’t know where to start.

Tweeting about my Barista’s electricity was a start. The reference is CP***5884

Now we wait.


Or we follow up.





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