Load reduction: Expect further blackouts in Soweto, Vaal, West Rand

Picture: iStock

Eskom will implement load reduction from 5pm to 10pm.

Eskom announced on Thursday, 2 July, that it would be implementing load reduction in Soweto, Vaal and West Rand from 5pm to 10pm to avoid network overloading.

The power utility said in a statement that load reduction would be implemented in the areas as they were prone to illegal connections, meter bypasses and vandalism of electricity infrastructure.

The affected areas include:

  • Soweto – Chiawelo, Dhlamini, Jabavu, Jabavu Central Western, Jabulani, Klipriviersoog, Klipspruit, Klipspruit, Mofolo Central, Mofolo North, Mofolo South, Molapo, Moroka, Moroka North, Orlando Ekhaya, Orlando West, Pimville Zones 1 to 7 & 9, Senaoane and Zondi.
  • West Rand – Bekkersdal, Kagiso, Rietvallei and Sinqobile.
  • Vaal – Evaton Central, Evaton North, Small Farms, Evaton West, Lakeside, Sebokeng Zones 3, 7, 8, 10, 12 and Stretford.

“During the load reduction implementation, customers are urged to switch off all their electrical appliances to avoid power surges when power returns. Failure to do so may lead to transformer trips or failures, and damages to household appliances when supply is restored,” the utility said.

Eskom urged people in the affected areas to not log a fault and manage the load by switching off appliances such as heaters, stoves and geysers, and only use them when absolute necessary in order to stabilise the network at the local level during the load reduction period.

Tips on how to save more money on your electricity bill this winter:

  • Lights — The first and easiest way to reduce your usage is to switch off unnecessary lights. When you need to replace a light bulb choose wisely. Consider the replacement costs, electricity usage and the hassle of changing bulbs, which makes compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) good options. These lamps use approximately 80% less energy and last eight to fifteen times longer than the incandescent bulbs.
  • Hot Water — Boil enough water only for the number of cups of tea you are making. Use a hot water bottle rather than an electric blanket.
  • Natural Heat — Take advantage of sunlight to warm rooms during the day, but then close the curtains to reduce heat loss during the evenings. Double curtains create a tighter air space, improving room comfort levels. If possible, let them hang long enough to reach the windowsill or floor.
  • Staying Warm — Think before switching on the heater, rather dress warmly: use a blanket and a hot water bottle to keep cosy. Electric space heaters can account for up to 17% of your evening peak power consumption. When using heaters, only heat the rooms that you’re spending time in.
  • Laundry — Do not wash your clothes at a high temperature unless you have a specific reason for doing so. Most laundry detergents are designed to work effectively at 30°C or lower. Make sure your washing machine is fully loaded each time you use it. You can also apply the same to your tumble dryer to help save both electricity and water.

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