The Joburg City Power utility will be handed the keys to the load shedding switch in the City of Gold from next Monday, a move that will see an end to prolonged four-hour blackouts.
Under the new schedule, long-suffering Joburg residents who used to experience four-hour bouts of load shedding, even at Stage 1 level, will now only be subjected to two-hour blackouts at a time under the new schedule.
In a joint statement with Eskom, the local power utility said it would take over load shedding operations for most of its areas of supply which were previously load shed by Eskom.
“Areas that are load shed by City Power will remain on a two-hour schedule even during Stages 5 and above of load shedding,” said Eskom and City Power in a joint statement.
Eskom and City Power said there were areas which would continue to be load shed by Eskom, due to the configuration of the network and technical complexities.
These areas include the following: City Power customers in Tshepisong, Lufhereng (Roodepoort), Hoogland, Maroeladal, Morningside, Riverclub, Dainfern, Bloubosrand, Waterford Estate, Riverbend, Kya Sands, Bellairspark (Randburg), Halfway House, Halfway Gardens, Vorna Valley, Willaway (Midrand) and the Marlboro Transit Camp (Alexandra).
“The two entities are both committed to ensuring that the security of supply is not compromised, and the obligations as outlined in NRS 048-9:2019 are followed and complied with as per distribution licensing conditions to protect the integrity and stability of the national grid even with the affected changes.
“The two entities will keep exploring technical solutions that will enable City Power to take over the load shedding operations of its remaining customers,” they said.
“City Power has its processes, systems, and technical capacity in place to take over the added load shedding operations as part of the new schedule.”
Revised load shedding schedules would be available from next Monday on both the City Power and Eskom websites.
Meanwhile, City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the cold snap had caused a sharp increase in electricity demand which was impacting on the network, with areas experiencing power outages caused by overcurrent and overloading.
“Our technicians were dealing with over 2,500 outage calls across Joburg.
“The South African Weather Service says these weather conditions will continue into late Tuesday.
“The forecasted inclement weather conditions, coupled with higher stages of load shedding will possibly increase cases of overloading of our network, as it’s the case in several areas since midday,” he said.