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HANDY MAC: Spot on load shedding

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Adhering to a strict schedule for power cuts and doing repairs at more reasonable times would make the situation more bearable, if daily outages are in the pipeline

Load shedding finally seems to be disappearing for a while – at least until the new man in charge comes up with a plan. I must say I would support a policy where there is continual load shedding, but on a strict schedule basis so we know what to expect – after all, we did it with the Day Zero water crisis.

We can all make a plan. So Mr De Ruyter, I am prepared to give you a year of planned outages if you can get all the necessary maintenance done.

Saying, “Only in South Africa!” I sat down to write my column only for the council to switch us off for six hours while doing maintenance on a local sub-station. Yes, the work needs to be done but why on a Saturday when many are at home? Surely this would best be done during the week or at night?

We are one of the few countries in the world where keeping the public happy is low on the list of all types of government. They repair roads at the busiest times of day, have roadblocks during rush hour – the list is endless.

On another tack, over the years that I have been writing this column I have stated that my favourite piece of equipment is my workbench as it gives an extra pair of hands, however, my view is starting to change. My compressor is starting to play a bigger role in my life. It is amazing what you can do with a hard blast of air.

Cleaning has become less of a chore – there is no easier way of getting dirt out of stubborn corners. Yes, it does tend to scatter dust but I believe its cleaning power far outweighs this downside and, with the right attachments, it can be used for jet-washing or painting. So, if you have a little spare cash, consider getting one.


Old car tyres can be made into floor tiles. Picture: Imthaz Ahamed

Hi Don, Thank you for publishing my tile-lifting problem on November 9 – it was most helpful. I have since had the tiles and old adhesive removed and levelled and replaced with recycled car-tyre interlocking tiles. Thank for your guidance. I have just had a quick check on the internet and am really excited by the idea of garage tiles made from rubber. I am going to do some deeper research, as I like the idea of flooring in a garage, but am not a fan of ceramic tiles for this purpose.

Tip of the week

A primer or undercoat ensures better paint adhesion. Picture: Stephanie Ho

So, let’s carry on with our
painting tips. For the next
couple of weekends I have
a consultant to help me. A
big thanks to Rifaat, who will
be jumping from new timber
panelling to doors, windowsills
and occasional tables.
Last week we finished off with
prep work, so now we can start
the priming.
What is priming?

Last week we finished off with prep work, so now we can start the priming.

What is priming?

A primer or undercoat is a preparatory coating. Priming ensures better adhesion of paint to the surface, increases paint durability and provides additional protection for the material being painted.

Paint primer is designed to provide a stable surface that subsequent paint layers can lock onto. It also helps to hide surface stains.

A surface’s porousness is the condition that most often warrants the use of a paint primer. The opposite can be a problem, as well. When the surface is too glossy, colour coat adhesion is difficult because the paint bodies cannot lock onto anything. Paint primer is also valuable for covering up stains.

You can never go wrong with priming. Like most things in life, it comes down to cost. Primers tend to be cheaper than finishing coats and because on most surfaces the first coat gets absorbed at a higher rate, in nine cases out of 10 you will save money in the long run.

If you have a question for Don, send it to or SMS only to 0824463859.


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