File picture: Karen Sandison/ANA
Durban - ASIDE from the usual inconveniences of load shedding, some Durban residents say they are also losing water supply during periods of no electricity.

In addition, people have complained that load shedding does not match the given schedules, and that some areas have not experienced any.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said it was the municipalities’ job to inform people about load shedding.

“We give municipalities at least two hours’ notice before they have to implement load shedding. Therefore, it is the municipalities’ duty to inform, but they are leaving everything to us to communicate,” Phasiwe said.

“The municipalities should take responsibility and explain to customers what is going on. They need to take customers seriously, publish, communicate and post these notices, but many of them don’t bother.”

An eManzimtoti resident said the schedule on eThekwini Municipality’s website did not match load shedding in his area.

He said there was no reliable information on the website, and its call centre and Facebook page were also of no help.

A Sherwood resident said her water got cut off during load shedding because water pumps did not work.

She said that after the first incident she sent two WhatsApp messages to the municipality’s water and sanitation’s emergency number. She was given a reference number and a contractor was sent a day later.

“What they don’t understand is that the problem lies with the pump at the reservoir, not in my home,” she said.

“I fill buckets to wash dishes. I also buy bottled water. We have to make sure we have showers before cut-off. A real nuisance is not being able to flush toilets,” she said.

“We are paying huge bills but service is bad. When the water comes back, sometimes dirt clogs the pipes and a plumber has to be called in, an additional financial burden.”

A Verulam pensioner said Everest Heights in the area had not had power cuts from the time load shedding was first implemented.

“We get load shedding without fail. To be in total darkness is frustrating while there are places that never get load shedding,” he said.

“I know national key points cannot have load shedding, but Everest Heights has nothing related.”

Phasiwe said hospitals, clinics, fuel depots, military bases and police stations were exempt from load shedding, unless they were in areas that could not be excluded.

However, it was a requirement for these institutions to have a diesel generator.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure those areas are not affected. Some people are living in areas where they get their electricity from the same feed as a military base, for example,” he said.

Phasiwe said some areas experienced water cuts during load shedding because a local water pump was affected.

EThekwini Municipality spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela, said residents are advised that water networks and reservoirs are operated by electricity. For some areas, due to the high demand of water supply, it takes some time for water to fill up reservoirs.

“The city continues to urge residents and businesses to refer to the city’s load shedding table to find out how load shedding will affect their areas,” Mayisela said.

He urged residents to be patient during this time and help reduce constraints on the power system.

The schedule is available on www.durban.gov.za. For other electricity related issues residents can call the electricity call centre on 080 131 3111, sms 083 700 0819 or email [email protected].

Daily News