The City said Eskom’s uninterrupted load shedding could make it difficult for the City to protect its customers fully or even from one stage of load shedding. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
The City said Eskom’s uninterrupted load shedding could make it difficult for the City to protect its customers fully or even from one stage of load shedding. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Capetonians urged to note how Eskom’s uninterrupted load shedding will impact them

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Jan 15, 2021

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Cape Town – The City of Cape Town has said Eskom’s uninterrupted load shedding could make it difficult for the City to protect its customers fully or even from one stage of load shedding.

Eskom’s latest round of load shedding came into effect from 12 noon on Thursday and will last until 11pm on Sunday, January 17.

However, the City said unlike previous rounds of load shedding, it appears to be one continuous episode with no breaks, especially at night – which is when the City usually replenishes reserves and capacity for the next day.

Mayoral committee member for Energy and Climate, Phindile Maxiti said this occurred because there would be insufficient time to generate sufficient excess capacity from the City’s Steenbras Hydro Pump Station at night, while at the same time also replenishing necessary reserves.

The City of Cape Town is awaiting further input from Eskom.

Maxiti said: “The City has always ensured that additional reserve capacity is available to assist its customers during load shedding, especially during the daytime when there is a higher impact on residents and businesses.

“Then at night, when load shedding was suspended in the past, the City would replenish capacity to ensure that it can assist residents and businesses again the next day, during the higher economic impact daytime hours.

“It is a really tough choice that the City has to make regarding when it applies any reserves that it has to limit the impact on customers’ and livelihoods.

“We encourage residents to be extra vigilant to safeguard themselves and their properties during load shedding, especially at night.”

Maxiti said the City would continue to do its best to reduce the impact on its customers wherever possible.

“We thank our customers for their support and understanding during this difficult time of a pandemic as well as the added pressure brought on by Eskom's load shedding.

“The City continues to call on national government to expedite the processes related to independent power producers and the City remains committed to do everything in its power to reduce the heavy dependency on Eskom, as per the current South African energy regime,” Maxiti said.

The City is thus using the reserve capacity it has to assist with a stage of load shedding during the daytime only, where possible.

Currently, the situation for City-supplied customers is:

15 January

  • Midnight until 6am Stage 2 (City unable to protect customers from one stage as there is no time to generate enough excess capacity)
  • 6am until 6pm Stage 1 (City will use reserves to protect customers during the daytime)

Available City reserves will be reviewed later on Friday afternoon and City customers will be updated as soon as possible ahead of the weekend’s expected load shedding.

Eskom customers are on Stage 2.

The City has asked residents continue to reduce energy usage by switching off all non-essential electrical appliances; pool pumps; air conditioners and reduce your geyser temperature.

“Let us know if your power remains off for longer than what the load shedding schedule mentions. If the City is not alerted to this, it may cause delays with the reinstatement of power in an affected area.

“Please note that during times of load shedding, service requests increase substantially and this may cause some delays,” the City said.

The City added it was also being impacted by load shedding and Covid-19 which was affecting its turnaround times and causing delays with SMS and email service channels.

“Due to Covid-19 positive cases in the electricity call centre and some deports, in accordance with regulations, there are some reduced staff complements and this may impact on turnaround times.

“The City is doing its best to resolve service requests as fast as humanly possible,” the City said.

Residents can access that City’s service channels via their call Centre at 0860 103 089 or via SMS: 31220 (standard charges apply).

They can also go online, www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests, and the City’s smart living resources are available at https://bit.ly/Smartliving2020 and https://bit.ly/CCT-SLAuditGuide

Cape Argus

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