DARK AGES SOUTH AFRICA: Expect load shedding on Thursday and Friday

DECEMBER 11, 2014

More power cuts are expected for Thursday and Friday after Eskom on Tuesday forecasted that the probability for load shedding would be high.

“We do not anticipate load shedding today. There is however a high risk of load shedding on Thursday and Friday,” the power utility said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Consumers are urged to reduce their electricity usage to alleviate the pressure on the national power system.”

Interruption To Electricity Supply- Aloes Substation

On Thursday morning, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality also warned; "Residents are kindly requested to note that the electricity supply to Aloes Substation will be interrupted on SUNDAY, 14 DECEMBER 2014 between the hours of 07:00 - 17:00 to complete repairs to the 11kV bottom Bus Bars.

"Areas bounded by: Markman Industrial area, Wells Estate, Bluewater Bay, Amsterdamhoek, Joost Park, Coega Village, Tankatara, Hougham Park, Dumbrody, Truckers Inn, ALC, AHK, CJP and HPK overhead lines. Surroundings between Swartkops River, Sundays River and Motherwell.

"As there is no guarantee that supply will be off throughout the whole period stated installations in all premises must still be regarded as being live during these hours."

Eskom battling to power-up South Africa

Eskom is battling to provide reliable electricity supplies to consumers and the economy and warned that the situation could last for months. This is despite Eskom being the largest electricity producer in Africa and among the top seven in the world.

It is believed that even if South Africans use electricity sparingly, load-shedding will be a reality for the next 18 months.

How load shedding works

Eskom can give notices if demand exceeds supply, but the lights can still be switched off due to unplanned outages like what happened late last week when the power utility ran out of diesel.

However, some users are protected from power cuts – including public transport, coal mines, police stations, hospitals and airports.

Eskom says that load shedding only happens as a last resort and depends on the amount of electricity that needs to be saved to prevent the grid from collapsing.

Worst case scenario

If the grid were to collapse, it could take a month to get the grid back up.

Stoves, tumble dryers, air conditioning units or heaters, geysers and pools use the most electricity, but even switching off kettles and small appliances can make a difference.