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Sol sticking to Stage 2

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“If additional stages are announced by Eskom, we will combine areas specified in schedule 2, in order to meet Eskom’s requirements”

Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

WHILE Eskom announced Stage 4 load shedding yesterday afternoon, the Sol Plaatje Municipality indicated that it would continue to use its current schedule but also cut all geysers.

Eskom asked for an eight-stage load shedding schedule from the Sol Plaatje Municipality last year already but the local authority stated that it would stick to its old schedule, which only shows Stage 2, altering it if necessary by combining areas for load shedding.

According to Eskom’s website, Stage 1 requires 1 000MW, Stage 2 requires 2 000MW, Stage 3 requires 3 000MW and Stage 4 calls for
4 000MW to be rotationally load shed nationally at a given period.

Yesterday afternoon, municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said the local authority would continue to implement the Stage 2 schedule but also switch off all geysers in the city in order to meet Eskom’s request to cut 4 000MW.

“If additional stages are announced by Eskom, we will combine areas specified in schedule 2, in order to meet Eskom’s requirements,” Matsie said. “So instead of electricity just being cut to one area for two hours, it will be cut to more areas as necessary.”

Matsie added that just by cutting geysers (which is usually implemented during Stage 1), in conjunction with implementing its Stage 2 schedule, the municipality would be able to comply with Eskom’s request yesterday for Stage 4 load shedding.

Eskom announced at lunchtime yesterday that Stage 4 load shedding would be implemented from 1pm until 10pm due to continued pressure on the national grid.

“Since this morning we have unexpectedly lost six additional generating units which have put additional strain on the system,” Eskom stated yesterday.

Load shedding is conducted rotationally as a measure of last resort to protect the power system.

“We continue to appeal to residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly during this period. Please switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.”

Last year Eskom asked for an eight-stage load shedding schedule from all local authorities.

“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 at the time.

Stage 8 load shedding could leave customers without power for more than 12 hours a day in areas like Johannesburg and Pretoria. Eskom said most metros had developed schedules for up to stage 8.