Durban warned of blackouts

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With winter fast approaching, Durban’s residents can expect more power outages, as happened in parts of the city on Monday night.

This was the warning from Roy Wienand, deputy head of the Electricity unit at the eThekwini municipality, who said more people would be using more electricity to stave off the cold, putting strain on the system.

Areas within Sydenham, Avoca Hills, Pinetown and Morningside were all affected on Monday, with power returning about two hours after having been cut.

“I’m not saying that I know what the cause of each outage was, but there could have been a number of reasons, including rain and cable theft,” he said.

He said it was sometimes impossible to predict problems – and if the department could, they would go out of their way to deal with them before they affected customers.

He urged people to call the city’s electricity hotline at 080 1313 111 to report power problems.

Deena Govender, senior manager of marketing and pricing at the municipality, said: “It appears these were random, isolated faults and most are restored.”

Eskom spokeswoman Hillary Joffe advised consumers to use only electric heaters controlled by thermostats; to switch on electric blankets only an hour before going to bed; and to heat only rooms that were in use.

She said geysers and heaters were responsible for 55 percent of consumers’ electricity bills in winter.

She said a geyser would heat water, whether or not it was needed, and advised consumers to turning down the temperature on the thermostat to 60ºC, to switch it off when away, and invest in a geyser blanket, which drapes over the geyser to keep in the heat. - Daily News

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