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Revealed: Eastern Cape govt's plan to keep services on during load shedding

Oct 16, 2019
Revealed: Eastern Cape govt's plan to keep services on during load shedding

Bhisho - After receiving news that Eskom is implementing stage 2 of load shedding from today, the Eastern Cape provincial government on Wednesday said that is implementing programs to provide services to the people of the province to ensure continued provision of services during load shedding.

"Municipalities will be rotating power supply during this period to communities within their jurisdictions. Government will then ensure that in places where there is no power supply, personnel will be available to assist people to continue accessing government services where it is possible," said Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane.

"These are services like provision of health care, traffic and transport management services." 

Health Services during load shedding

The Premier said that in relation to the provision of health services during load shedding, the Eastern Cape Department of Health has made provision for backup generators in all the 66 district hospitals in the province.

"These backup generators will kick in when power supply is interrupted in the areas with hospitals," he described.

"The back up generators, which are checked on a daily basis to ensure they have adequate diesel during load shedding.

"Reports about the use of these back of generators to keep hospitals providing healthcare to the people of the province will be generated and sent to Head Office in Bisho on a daily basis during the load shedding process.

"We want to inform the people of the province, especially those with patients in our hospitals that generators cover essential areas in hospitals like wards, theaters, ICUs, paediatrics, maternity and forensic pathology."

Traffic Services during load shedding

Mabuyane said that during load shedding, traffic lights/robots will not work normally.

"In this regard, the provincial government is working with both provincial and municipal traffic services to manage traffic flow in towns and other traffic services to motorists," the Premier described. 

"Traffic officers have been deployed to some of our major centres like the East London  Central Business District  and some hotspots in King Williams Town to control traffic in major intersections, with the help of BCM and our provincial traffic police.

"In our licensing centres, we are pleading for patience from our motorists until power is restored, as a number of our stations do not have backup systems for power outages."

Water Services during load shedding

"During this period, entities responsible for the provision of water services have made arrangements with Eskom to receive alerts about the planned outages in order to schedule pumping of water in the reservoirs during times where there is confirmed power supply in the areas were the facilities are located," Premier Mabuyane described.  

"Some of these entities will work more from 23:00 after the rotation of power supply to ensure continued provision of safe, clean drinkable water to households, businesses and public facilities."

Strategic Economic Centers

The Premier said that the existing arrangements with Eskom and municipalities is that strategic economic centers like the Harbors, ports, Special Economic Zones and manufacturing plants or factories will be exempted from load shedding.

"This is done to ensure continued economic production in these facilities so that the economy is not halted by the disruption of power supply. This arrangement will continue in all the strategic economic centers and facilities in our province." 

Tourism

"Our agency, the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency issued an advisory to all tourism providers in the province like hotels, guest houses, BnBs, restaurants, pubs, museums, tourism information centers and other heritage centers to tap into their contingency plans so as to be able to serve tourists during this load shedding time," the Premier said.

"Government understands the challenges loads heading brings to the tourism sector and we are particularly concerned for establishments like restaurants and small operators who will feel the impact as costs are likely to increase." 

Sustainable Energy 

The Premier said that the province is ready to bring forth new sources of sustainable energy and requisite infrastructure for energy.

"We are waiting for the completion of the integrated resource plan from national government. This will help to reduce our reliance on the grid managed by Eskom and ensure continued provision of power supply."

Tips to Consumers to survive Eskom load shedding 

Premier Mabuyane provided the following tips to the consumers to use during the load shedding period: 

  • Switch off and unplug your TV during the power outage; the force at which the power comes tends to have a negative impact – blows the motherboard
  • Have a back-up batteries for your electric gates, garages and alarms.
  • Have your laptop computers, tablet computers and cellphone cellphones fully charged
  • Have oil lamps ready (mostly preferred to candles), solar powered lights, torch, battery powered lights (fully charged) to avoid staying in the dark
  • Food supplies in your fridge or freezer can survive without power for hours if you avoid opening and closing it repeatedly
  • Always have a flask of boiling water for your coffee, tea and baby feeds
  • Invest in gas appliances and generator.

"Government would like to inform the people of the province that during the load shedding period, there will be moments where provision of some of government services will be interrupted temporarily," he said.

"We hope that Eskom will be able to sort its maintenance issues that led to load shedding with haste.

"The provincial government is appealing to the people of the province in their homes and their places of work to assist Eskom by ensuring security of energy supply through utilising electricity sparingly throughout the day."

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