City of Tshwane Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Utilities and Regional Operations, Daryl Johnston, says load shedding is a “crisis” for the City's network infrastructure.
This as the power utility raised load shedding to Stage 6 in the evening with Stage 4 in the mornings.
“Raised levels of load shedding are a crisis for our municipality, affecting both the condition of our electricity network, as well as our ability to attend to outages.
“Stage 6 load shedding means that rolling blackouts will affect regions of our city two to three times a day for a total time without electricity at a minimum of six hours per day. Our networks were never designed for load shedding and continuously turning the network on and off has a major impact on the condition of our network infrastructure,” he said.
Johnston explained that load shedding can lead to longer outages due to overloading, vandalism and theft of infrastructure.
“[As] the frequency of load shedding increases, City resources will be stretched by just switching areas on and off. The same teams needed to perform this switching also play a critical role in electricity network repair and maintenance work and they will have significantly less time available to work on restoring electricity for non-load-shedding related outages.
“[Municipal] teams are working determinedly to face this immense pressure on our electricity network, but the reality is that our system was not designed to cope with this situation. The heavy rains we have been experiencing recently are also making this situation worse, with wet weather increasing the likelihood of equipment faults, and this situation is very serious for the entire Tshwane,” he said.
The MMC urged residents to switch off appliances during load shedding and when power returns, only turn them back on after at least 10 to 20 minutes to avoid electricity surges.
“The surges generated as power is turned back on causes areas to trip minutes after having been restored, causing extended outages in some area. Making sure not to have energy-intensive appliances on during peak times – particularly in the evening from 6pm to 9pm.
“We continue to pursue long-term interventions to see what we as the City can do to alleviate this continuous challenge. In the interim, we all need to work together to best manage this difficult time,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za