Joburg prepares for seasonal power outages

Johannesburg – With cold winter weather expected to hit Joburg this weekend, City Power has announced that it has contingency plans in place for expected increased power outages during the cold weather.

Speaking about the utility’s winter campaign, City Power on Wednesday said that during winter, the city’s network was prone to outages in most, if not all, areas supplied by City Power.

This was mainly due to an increase in the demand for electricity usage resulting in overloading of the network as well as equipment failure.

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Johannesburg City Power has announced that it has contingency plans in place for expected increased power outages during the cold weather. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

City Power spokesperson Virgil James said a winter plan had been prepared.

“We will be focusing on areas of the network that experience repeated outages on the same day or week. Our plan also prioritises resources to address these challenges. This includes equipping technicians with fast-moving spares, strategic material and consumables in the event of unplanned outages."

“We also plan to increase the number of technicians attending to outages in our areas of supply. More teams will be dispatched to attend to outages as well as to respond to emergency calls. The plan has already driven us to proactively replace and repair sections of cables that have contributed to repeated outages,” he said.

“In as far as possible, aluminium cables are used, which have no value to thieves, thereby further ensuring an uninterrupted electricity supply. Constant monitoring of the network, maintenance and new technologies are part of ongoing efforts to reduce outages,” James added.

“The effectiveness of the winter plan is not only dependent upon measures put into place, but also requires co-operation from all of us who use electricity. With May being Energy Month, City Power wants to raise awareness about saving energy. We urge everyone to use this month as a stepping stone to becoming more conscious of saving electricity every day as winter approaches,” he said.

James encouraged residents to consider alternatives and less-intensive heating methods such as gas, compact fluorescent lighting, solar water heaters and/or heat generation through conventional fireplaces.

“We are relying on our customers to make the necessary adjustments to save electricity in their households. This, in turn, will decrease overloading of the network, prevent unplanned outages while easing pressure off the grid especially during winter.”

The Star

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