Power is recovering in the Karoo

Henry

Eskom is well on its way to restoring power to several towns in the Central Karoo. This area was without power for more than a week due to a huge power failure in the system.

“Good news! The power is back in the Karoo. Seven of the affected power plants are back at work and within the next few hours the power will be fully restored,” said Allan Winde, Premier of the Western Cape, just after 08:00 on Thursday.

“It was a big crisis with food that went rotten and people who experienced food shortages.”

RNews reported earlier that the Karoo‑Hoogland municipality declared a state of disaster after the power cuts caused serious disruption.

The local authority serves the districts of Frasersburg, Sutherland and Williston. Several other towns – Roggeveld, Laingsburg, Ladismith, Leeu-Gamka, Swartberg, Merweville, Matjiesfontein, Prins Albert and the surrounding areas – are also without power.

It particularly hit farmers hard because they could not irrigate their fields or pump water for their animals.

A small livestock farmer at Prince Albert, who spoke to RNews on the condition of anonymity, said on Thursday that the past few weeks had been a major setback for farmers, who had just started to find their feet again.

He was nevertheless able to save his maize and alfalfa harvest with the help of a generator that was loaned to him by the AfriForum branch on George in the past few days, and with sponsorships for diesel – among others by Agri West Cape.

That way he could at least irrigate his crops and ensure that his animals had food.

However, this only brings temporary relief as continuing high levels of load shedding continue to force the farmers out of their pockets for diesel – money they do not have.

Winde asked residents of the Karoo not to switch on all their geysers and water pumps so that the demand for power does not exceed the supply. “Thank you to everyone who has supported us in the past two weeks and helped us get the power back on.”