News / South Africa / Load Shedding

Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
11 Oct 2021
3:52 pm

Tshwane experiencing prolonged power outages due to load shedding

Citizen Reporter

Eskom implemented stage 2 load shedding last week, which is set to continue until Thursday.

Picture: iStock

The City of Tshwane says it has been hit by prolonged power outages caused by load shedding.

Grid failures

In a statement on Monday, the metropolitan municipality said load shedding would “significantly disrupt” the electrical infrastructure of the city.

This can lead to the tripping of electricity grids and power surges due to the overloading of the system.

“[This happens] especially when [load shedding] ends,” Tshwane councillor Phillip Nel said.

Nel, who is in charge of utility services and regional utility operations and coordination, explained that the municipal electrical distribution systems across the country were not designed for load shedding condition.

“Our system design relies on randomly spread loads and infrequent switching for maintenance, etc. During load shedding the turning on and off, of electricity to a grid happens up to three times per day. This is a major challenge as the electrical load is concentrated,” he said.

ALSO READ: Eskom has no money, no diesel, which is why you have no lights

Nel said the city has since deployed teams to respond to the outages.

He urged customers to turn off heaters, geysers and rotating machines before planned reconnection times to avoid trips and power failures.

The city also called for consumers to wait a while after power is restored before boiling a kettle and resuming cooking.

It also asked consumers to switch on geysers and pumps only after power has definitely stabilised.

The power outages have also hit City Power, which handles electrical utility services for the City of Johannesburg and the City of Ekurhuleni.

City Power said that it suspected overloading on the electricity system after load shedding had resulted in the outages. 

Meanwhile, the City of Ekurhuleni had tweeted earlier on Monday that it had sent teams to various parts of Kempton Park experiencing a power outage.

Load shedding

Eskom implemented stage 2 load shedding last week, which is set to continue until Thursday.

According to energy expert Ted Blom, South Africa could have load shedding for the next five years.

Speaking to Jacaranda FM on Monday morning, Blom said the lack of maintenance involving Eskom’s embattled electricity generating units has led him to suspect the country may well have to endure load shedding for half a decade.

The main reason for this, Blom explained, was due to problematic units being patched, instead of completely repaired.

When 20GW worth of Eskom units need to be repaired or are broken down, load shedding takes place

READ MORE: ‘There will be light at the end of this brief tunnel’: Ramaphosa on the return of load shedding 

He said had Eskom’s management kept their promise and overhauled units, load shedding would have been avoidable. 

However, the reasoning behind management “patching up” units instead of completely repairing them is a bit more complicated than that. 

Blom explained that due to the phasing out of coal and the advent of renewable energy, Eskom’s executive would rather spend big bucks on investing in clean energy, rather than continuing with coal. 

Additional reporting by Nica Richards