Durban — eThekwini will soon be split up into the residential plus commercial zone, and the industrial zone, during the new load shedding schedule to be implemented on Thursday.
The eThekwini head of electricity, Maxwell Mthembu, presented the new schedule to executive council members, which he said was aligned with the demands from Eskom to lift the partial exemption that eThekwini Municipality had enjoyed since the April floods.
Mthembu said areas previously exempt from load shedding, such as water reservoirs and pump stations, would be exempted from the new schedule.
The new load shedding schedules will be split up into two blocks:
• The residential and commercial zone, which will be load shed for two hours at a time.
• The industrial zone, which will be load shed for four hours at a time.
This was after DA caucus leader councillor Thabani Mthethwa wrote an urgent letter to the council, to convene an emergency executive council (Exco) meeting last week to discuss the new proposed load shedding schedule to be implemented on May 25.
Mthethwa said he requested the meeting so that eThekwini could shed light on the new load-shedding changes that residents would be subjected to.
Mthethwa said it was unacceptable that the DA had to call the meeting, which the ANC-led government of eThekwini had no intention of holding in the first place.
The issue of eThekwini being subjected to load shedding like the rest of the country was imperative, he said. “But we do not know whether the lights will come back on, after they have gone off,” Mthethwa added.
Various questions remained unanswered, one of them being how would the City mitigate electricity trip-outs, which cause extended outages after load shedding, he asked.
eThekwini failed to confirm contingency plans put in place for powering critical infrastructure, such as reservoirs and waste-water works, he said.
“It is once again evident that the City is not ready to deliver for the people, as ANC officials fail to give clear indications on how to manage the new load shedding schedule, and lessen the negative effects that will be felt throughout eThekwini.”
The eThekwini EFF leader, councillor Themba Mvubu, said the EFF was against the deliberate collapsing of Eskom by “corrupt and greedy” ruling party politicians, who were colluding with the capitalists who wanted to privatise the production of electricity.
“We have no choice but to agree to some load shedding of which eThekwini was exempted after the April floods.
“Then Eskom wrote to the City saying the grid is under severe strain so eThekwini also has to play its part. But we derive no pleasure in doing this because we know the negative impact it will have on the already struggling economy and the interruption of water supply,” Mvubu said.
eThekwini IFP leader Mdu Nkosi said the Exco members have a right to request meetings with the mayor and his executives if they have matters that they want to ventilate.
“We met on Thursday and discussed the new load shedding schedule. We all agreed that in future the city council must refrain from taking decisions, and issue communications to the public, without discussing the matter with the Exco first,” Nkosi stressed.
eThekwini Municipality head of communications Lindiwe Khuzwayo said, “The DA is part of the leadership of eThekwini. As such a meeting its leadership holds with the mayor is normal.”
A follow-up meeting would be held tomorrow (Tuesday), to discuss the matter further.
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