Eskom has warned that any further loss of generation capacity will result in load shedding.
The power utility on Tuesday said the system was severely constrained and load shedding could be implemented at short notice during the evening peak hours.
“Eskom cautions the public that due to the continued shortage of generation capacity, the power system will be very constrained for this evening and the next few days.
“Should there be any further significant breakdowns, load shedding may be required at short notice, most likely during the evening peak of 5pm to 10pm,” the power utility said in a statement.
At this stage, 3,307 megawatts (MW) is on planned maintenance, while another 15,844MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.
“Eskom cautions the public that as the shortage of generation capacity persists, the system will continue to be constrained with an elevated risk of load shedding over the coming weeks. We would like to remind the public that load shedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid,” Eskom further said.
More easy-to-implement tips for those looking to ensure their safety when the lights go out:
- Put the proposed load shedding times somewhere handy so that your family will have enough time to prepare for the power outage.
- Get a few high-wattage solar powered lights for your garden, and a few LED lights for inside. Light is a deterrent to would-be burglars.
- Keep your cellphone charged, or invest in a portable phone charger, so that you can still call for help if you need to.
- If you need to manually open and close your gates when you get home, try to have someone come and meet you at your entrance, or arrange for an escort from your security company.
- Use padlocks, burglar bars and deadbolts to provide an extra level of home security that isn’t power-dependent.
- Alarm systems, garage doors and electric gates generally rely on electricity so make sure that these items all have good backup batteries.
- Keep a torch or a solar, battery powered light that is charged beforehand in multiple, easily accessible locations around your home. Be sure to also have plenty of spare batteries.
- Your fridge and freezer supplies should be okay without power overnight if you do not open and close it repeatedly. If you’re worried about certain food items, prepare an ice-box for these.
- Make sure that all appliances – especially those that pose a fire risk if left unattended – are switched off when load shedding starts and gradually turned back on once power returns. This not only minimises the pressure on the grid when the power is turned back on, but also minimises the risk of damage to appliances due to power surges, or a fire risk causing a power outage to turn into a catastrophe.