Traffic snarl-ups as Eskom implements load shedding

Picture: Alaister Russell

Picture: Alaister Russell

Traffic in various parts of Johannesburg was brought to a screeching halt yesterday by power outages caused by Eskom’s load shedding which was implemented from as early as 6am.

According to Johannesburg Metro police spokesperson Superintendent Wayne Minnaar, the sad reality is that metro police officers cannot be deployed at all the busy intersections in the event that load shedding is implemented.

“Our officers work in shifts [morning, mid-morning, night and all night] in all our regions from Midrand stretching to Orange Farm and between 35 and 40 officers are working on each shift,” said Minnaar.

Some of the roads and areas badly affected included Marlboro, Randburg and Main Reef. By late yesterday, Eskom moved to stage 3 load shedding.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said even if one unit from Medupi were to be brought online at this stage, it wouldn’t necessarily take away the risk of load shedding.

Phasiwe said although the drop in temperatures contributed to load shedding being implemented, that had not had a severe impact on the national power grid.

He stressed the major contribution which led to load shedding had been the unavailability of some generators. Meanwhile, the South African Weather Services yesterday warned residents in Gauteng should brace themselves for the first real winter cold snap.

The snap was expected to hit later today, tomorrow, as well as on Friday. According to forecaster Christina Thaele, evening and morning minimums are expected to range between 4°C and 10°C over the next three days.

“We are also expecting a drop in daytime temperatures [maximums], with temperatures set to peak between 21°C and 25°C,” said Thaele.

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