Eskom: Load shedding designed to avoid blackout


Eskom and municipalities on Monday said that the load shedding schedules they've been implementing are designed to best suit customers and reduce demand to keep the country's power system up and running.

This is after the unexpected collapse of a coal silo at Majuba Power Station in Mpumalanga this weekend resulted in rolling blackouts across South Africa.

While some suburbs in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality experienced load shedding according the schedules, others were left without power for between six and 12 hours.

“The schedule is based on the load block that is required and it’s a two hour rotational window,” Eskom's Western Cape provincial head Alwie Lester said.

Eskom's Andrew Etzinger told East Coast radio that they will need to continue load shedding until they get supply and demand back into balance.

Johannesburg City Power's Louis Pieterse says some areas will have power cuts more frequently compared to others.

“It depends on how many megawatts you have to shed that will then allow for certain suburbs to be shed more frequently, clearly because of the maximum demand that is theorised from load shedding in that particular area.”

Eskom says it's managed to stabilise the coal supply at its Majuba Plant and is not expecting to implement load shedding today.

"The risk of load shedding has reduced significantly and the prognosis for the week is better than expected. The system will be under extreme pressure on Wednesday and Thursday as the water reserves that we built up over the weekend for our peaking plants will be depleted," the power utility said.

"Eskom is pleased to announce that work at Majuba Power Station has progressed better than anticipated. Teams have worked non-stop since the incident on Saturday and have been able to connect coal feeder units which have enabled us to ramp up the supply from 600MW to 1 200 MW.
"Once again, we appeal to consumers to reduce their electricity usage throughout the day, but especially from 18h00 to 22h00."
Eskom said that load shedding schedules will only be utilised for the duration of the constraint and Eskom will provide regular updates on the status of the power system.

To read the full Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality load shedding schedule - from 9 June 2014 - 31 May 2015, click here.

For more information, call the numbers below;


Customer Service Electricity: Port Elizabeth Area

Munelek, Harrower Road - 041 392 4162

New Brighton, Ntshekisa Road - 041 454 4344

Struandale, Struan Way - 041 453 4159

Motherwell, Addo Rd - 041 461 1725

Zwide, Johnson Rd - 041 464 1992