Molefe Seeletsa
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
18 Jan 2021
5:02 pm

UPDATE: Load shedding suspended as schedule changes create confusion

Molefe Seeletsa

Load shedding will now only last for two hours in certain parts of Johannesburg, Eskom said.

File Photo: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

Power utility Eskom has announced that load shedding will be suspended as of 11pm tonight as generation capacity has improved.

“Over the past 24 hours Eskom teams have successfully returned two generation units each at Kusile, Kriel, and one at Tutuka Power Stations to service. Another two generation units are expected to return to service tomorrow while emergency generation reserves have also adequately recovered,” Eskom said in a statement on Monday afternoon.

However, the “system is vulnerable and unpredictable” and the power utility currently has 4,920MW of power unavailable due to planned maintenance, and 13,897MW of capacity unavailable due to unplanned maintenance, breakdowns and outage delays.

Schedule confusion

Earlier on Monday, Eskom set the cat among the load shed pigeons in certain parts of Gauteng and the North West when it said a new two hour load shedding rotation would be implemented from Tuesday, 19 January 2021.

Johannesburg residents have traditionally had to endure four hour blackouts on average.

However, City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena told The Citizen that its schedule had not changed.

“City Power would like to notify its customers across the City of Johannesburg that our load shedding schedule has not changed.

“As such City Power urges its customers to ignore the recent incorrect media reports suggesting that there are, or there will be, changes, to the current schedule which remains unchanged. Should there be any changes or plans to move to a new schedule and times, we will communicate with customers first.

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Eskom earlier on Monday said it had been engaging with City Power to reduce the duration of load shedding in Johannesburg, however, Mangena has dismissed the matter.

“There’s no engagements that is happening with Eskom on the load shedding schedule. Eskom is responsible for it’s own schedules especially where it is implementing load shedding and we [City Power] are responsible for the City of Johannesburg.

“There are no schedule changes for City of Johannesburg from what it used to be. It’s still the same and if there are changes we will tell the customers, but for now City of Johannesburg for remains at four hour load shedding intervals until we communicate otherwise,” Mangena said.

This mean that two hour load shedding interval only applies for Eskom customers and not City Power customers.

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The affected areas include:

Eskom Gauteng areas:

  • Joburg Zone – Cosmo City, Diepsloot, Ivory Park, Midrand, Randburg, Sandton and Soweto,
  • Vaal Zone – Orange Farm, Sebokeng and Sharpeville,
  • Gauteng local municipality areas – Merafong Local Municipality areas, Mogale City Local Municipality areas, and
  • Randfontein Local Municipality areas.

Eskom North West OU areas:

  • Klerksdorp, Mmabatho and Vryburg,

“The move from four to two hours of load shedding is aimed at addressing the unintended consequences that come with the longer supply interruptions, particularly during the resurgence of Covid-19. Electricity users are advised to always check with their supplier should load shedding exceed the two hours,” Eskom said.

“The implementation of load shedding is vital to protecting our vulnerable electricity supply system.

“The supply of electricity remains key as an essential service to health facilities and other strategic role players that are critical in the fight against the Coronavirus.

“Eskom has engaged with the affected municipalities. In addition, the power utility will also effect the changes where it is implementing load shedding to the municipalities’ direct customers,” the power utility added.

This article has been updated with information relating to load shedding suspension on Monday, 18 January 2020. 

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