While Eskom has asked for an eight-stage load shedding schedule from the Sol Plaatje Municipality, the local authority is sticking with its old schedule, which only shows stage 2.
WHILE Eskom has asked for an eight-stage load shedding schedule from the Sol Plaatje Municipality, the local authority is sticking with its old schedule, which only shows stage 2.
Stage 1 involves the automatic switching off of geysers in the city.
While Eskom says the chances of stage 8 load shedding is “low”, it has published an updated load shedding timetable on its website.
“The likelihood of reaching stage 8 is low. The Disaster Management Act requires Eskom to develop contingency plans for identified major incidents. A severe supply constraint is one of these, for which Eskom has plans in place. Eskom also continually improves these plans,” the parastatal said.
Stage 8 load shedding could leave customers without power for more than 12 hours a day in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Eskom said most metros have developed schedules for up to stage 8.
This comes after the power utility and municipalities realised in 2015 that they had to plan beyond most stages of load shedding.
“The national code was subsequently updated after significant engagement with stakeholders in 2016/17. This has been published and caters for eight stages of load shedding. This is currently with Nersa (the national energy regulator) for approval.
The power utility announced on November 18 that stage 1 of rotational load shedding had started.
Eskom said it would update customers about the schedule on its website and gave no date as to when full power would be restored.
Load shedding commenced in earnest this past weekend and continued yesterday, with most of the city without electricity for up to two hours.
On its website, Eskom states that the load shedding timetable starts when there is a formal announcement from Eskom.
It pointed out that if a consumer is scheduled from 4pm to 8.30pm, but load shedding is declared at 5pm, you will only be load shed from 5pm to 8.30pm.
“If one is scheduled on a lower stage and a higher stage is declared, then your current time slot will not change. For example, a time slot from 4pm to 8.30pm in a stage will be completed even if a higher stage is declared during that time.”
The schedule, as provided by the Sol Plaatje Municipality, has, however, aggravated local residents.
A Moghul Park resident said yesterday that his area, which falls under Ashburnham, was the only area to have two days a week of two shutdowns per day. “So for example we are cut from 8am to 10am and 8pm to 10pm on Wednesdays and Sundays.”
He added that for the schedule to be fair, it should be rotational. “There are six sectors with 91 areas. If we rotated, areas would be shut down twice a week only every six weeks.”
Sharon Steyn from the Northern Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nocci) said yesterday that organised business was very concerned about the load shedding as this was the busiest time of the year for business.
“This is unfortunately going to have a very negative impact on business and tourism over the festive season and the New Year.”
She added that although this was a major concern to Nocci, she wanted to thank Eskom for keeping her updated with the load shedding schedules.