Concern over looming load shedding during Ramadaan
DURBAN - LOOMING load shedding has left the Muslim community concerned, as Eskom said the country’s system would remain constrained. This was as thousands of Muslims in the country observed Ramadaan.
Stage 2 load shedding was implemented on Tuesday, however, the power utility suspended it on Wednesday, with the warning that possibilities of load shedding were elevated.
DA proportional representation councillor in Reservoir Hills Sagar Singh voiced his concerns over the scheduled power cuts during Ramadaan to the eThekwini Municipality.
“Please note that the Muslim community have begun their fast and load shedding at this time is insensitive to religious and cultural values of a community, and shows a lack of respect for their religious practice.
“They fast from sunrise to sunset and require electricity to prepare their meals. The city’s aspiration of being a caring city – as it stands – it is not showing respect for cultural diversity and the rights of the Muslim community,” Singh wrote to the head of electricity Maxwell Mthembu.
Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the city was aware of the concerns from the Muslim community.
“However, the issue of load shedding is beyond our control. We are, therefore, advising that they formally write to Eskom and apprise the power utility of their concerns or grievances regarding load shedding (during) Ramadaan. Despite this undesirable situation, we would like to again to wish all our Muslim residents a holy and blessed month of Ramadaan.”
Phoenix Community activist Morgan Nair voiced his concerns in a community group, where many other Muslims agreed with him.
“During this sacred month, we require electricity to perform our spiritual as well as basic tasks. We attend religious gatherings in mosques, as well as to ensure that we perform our Serhi (beginning of the fast) and iftaar (ending of the fast),” he said.
On Wednesday, Eskom suspended load shedding from 5am, however, in a statement the power utility said the possibility of load shedding remained elevated while it continued to implement reliability maintenance.
“And, as such, the system will continue to be constrained during this period. Eskom requests the public to continue using electricity sparingly, as the system remains vulnerable and unpredictable,” said Eskom.
Eskom had suspended load shedding as generation capacity had recovered overnight, after generation units at the Tutuka, Duvha, Medupi and Hendrina Power Stations successfully returned to service, helping to boost generation capacity.
It said that a further two generation units were expected to return to service on Wednesday, with emergency generation reserves sufficiently replenished.
“We currently have 4775MW on planned maintenance, while another 11616MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns and delays,” said Eskom.