Ethekwini residents urged not to waste or steal electricity as load shedding returns
Durban - THE eThekwini Municipality has warned that the impact of load shedding announced by power utility Eskom will have devastating effects should people continue to waste and steal electricity through illegal connections.
This warning followed Eskom’s announcement on Friday that it planned to continue with load shedding throughout the festive season and all the way to April 2021.
The utility announced the implementation of stage 2 load shedding because the system was severely constrained and it needed to replenish the depleted emergency generation reserves for this week.
Yesterday morning Eskom issued another statement cancelling load shedding for the day, saying that the emergency generation reserves had recovered sufficiently overnight.
Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela warned against illegal connections, saying that it was one of the biggest problems faced by the city.
Mayisela said the municipality would be affected by load shedding as much as the rest of the country was because almost 100% of its power supply was sourced from Eskom.
"The effects of illegal connections are a serious problem for the city. We have reserves exploding all the time due to overloading. We discourage this act and urge the people to report illegal connections so that we help Eskom and the country minimise the risk of load shedding," said Mayisela.
He said load shedding affected not only households, but also businesses and the economy.
"Besides the fact that we are forced to go into load shedding because of the breakdown of plants that are ageing and under-serviced, another problem is wastage and illegal connections. These can be prevented. We have seen the impact of load shedding on businesses and people losing jobs because businesses used electricity to operate. If we continue like this we will find ourselves without electricity," said Mayisela.
Eskom spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha said that while the utility made every effort to avert load shedding, protecting the electricity system remained its first priority. “However, should load shedding be necessary, Eskom will make every effort to provide the public with timeous notifications.”
He said the load shedding had been caused by a large number of unforeseen breakdowns from ageing and unreliable plants over the past few days.
Mantshantsha said people should continue to use electricity sparingly as the system was still severely constrained.
"Eskom anticipates a significant positive impact from the intensive maintenance regime to start reducing the occurrence of load shedding by April 2021 and a substantial reduction of the risk of load shedding by September 2021.
"Of course, this is all subject to the amount of demand for electricity at the time and to maintaining breakdowns at an acceptable level,“ he said.