Load shedding hours reduced for (only some) Gauteng residents

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Eskom’s reduced load shedding hours can’t be passed on to all Gauteng residents, with the City of Johannesburg saying it would pose a logistical headache to implement for its residents.

Eskom will be reducing their load shedding periods in Gauteng by two hours, but the bad news is that those customers getting their power from Johannesburg’s City Power will remain on the four-hour load shedding schedule.

The power utility announced this week that load shedding in parts of Gauteng and the North West provinces will be reduced from four hours to two. Eskom said the reduced hours are to address the indirect consequences that come with longer periods of power interruptions,  particularly during the second wave of Covid-19.

This reduction is, however, only for Eskom’s direct customers with the new schedule implemented on Tuesday, said spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantaha.

“The reduced load shedding hours apply to customers directly supplied by Eskom. This means load shedding will last two hours at a time, not four hours. This new schedule has already come into effect,” he said.

Also Read: Eskom could implement stage 8 load shedding before end of winter, says power expert

The new schedule affects Gauteng residents of Merafong, Mogale City, Randfontein local municipalities, Vaal areas of Orange Farm, Sebokeng and Sharpeville and North West areas of Klerksdorp, Mmabatho and Vryburg.

Johannesburg residents living in Cosmo City, Diepsloot, Ivory Park, Midrand, Randburg, Sandton and Soweto would also be affected.

Customers of Johannesburg’s City Power will, however, remain in the current four-hour schedule, due to issues of capacity to manage load shedding, the interconnectivity of their network, and the ability of City Power infrastructure to handle the load shedding demand, said spokesperson Isaac Mangena.

Read more: Load shedding suspended as schedule changes create confusion

“As things stand, we are struggling to keep up with the load shedding at four hours – imagine with two-hour frequency. Most of the pinch we feel currently is with regard to the knock-on effect on our network, infrastructure and manpower in terms of overtime and fatigue.”

“For now, we are sticking to switching off the power for four hours during load shedding because that means customers will lose power less frequently and it has a reduced impact on the health of the municipal power grid, enabling us to, among others, do maintenance in between.”

City Power is currently switching off once a day for four hours, and again after 24 hours. Changing to a two-hour schedule means switching off at least two to three times a day, Mangena explained.

rorisangk@citizen.co.za

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