Picture: Bongani Mbatha: African News Agency /ANA
Picture: Bongani Mbatha: African News Agency /ANA

No lights and no water: Durban residents battle load shedding and dry taps

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Nov 18, 2021

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DURBAN – Just hours after Eskom announced the implementation of Stage 2 load shedding yesterday, Durban residents were urged to reduce water consumption.

However, some residents say they have been without running water since last week.

In some Facebook groups, residents say they woke up to no water on most days last week.

According to eThekwini Municipality, the City’s bulk water provider, Umgeni Water, experienced a pump failure at one of their key installations.

“Staff are working around the clock to repair the failure to enable the full water supply to be resumed to all consumers as quickly as possible. While the repairs are being carried out, we are experiencing water shortages in the central, southern and northern water systems,” the City said.

It said officials have embarked on numerous programmes to sustain and ration the water supply in the water supply systems.

“Areas that are receiving water intermittently are being supplied by water tankers. The municipality hereby urges the public to use water sparingly. With everyone’s help we will be able to conserve the available water reserves during this difficult time and make them last as long as possible,” the City said.

On Wednesday, Eskom announced that Stage 2 load shedding will continue until 5am on Saturday.

Eskom said the power cuts are due to the ongoing insufficient generation capacity and the loss of a unit each at Medupi, Duvha and Kendal power stations.

“This is to preserve the remaining emergency reserves at the OCGT (open-cycle gas turbine) and pump storage power stations in order to prevent higher stages of load shedding.

Of the five units that failed yesterday, a unit at Majuba, Kriel and Matimba power stations have returned to service while the remaining two units are undergoing boiler tube leak repairs. Total breakdowns currently amount to 15 485MW while planned maintenance is 4 100MW of capacity,” Eskom said.

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