How to ... survive load shedding

2014-09-18 17:15

It is going to be another five years before loadshedding can be a thing of the past.

Eskom’s acting CEO Collin Matjila revealed in parliament on Tuesday that South Africa’s power supply would only be stabilised in 2019.

And loadshedding is at the top of the list of mechanisms that will be used to create a steady power supply.

But before you step into power outage survival mode, Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger cautions that some power outages aren’t always due to load shedding.

“If there is a blackout, call your local municipality to find out what the cause of the blackout is,” he said. If the blackout is due to faulty cables, Etzinger encourages residents to contact their power supplier and report the fault.

If your home is powered by Eskom, contact the call centre at 08600ESKOM (0860037566). You will have to provide personal details, home address and your electricity bill account number before the matter can be resolved.

After this you will receive a reference number which you can use to follow up on the matter. This can also be done via the internet.

Should load shedding be the cause of the outage, Etzinger says preparation is the best solution to ensure that one is able to survive the darkness.

Find out when your area will be experiencing blackouts ahead of time so you can plan accordingly. The schedules can found on loadshedding.eskom.co.za. or telephonically through your municipality.

Preparation isn’t the only tip he suggests:

»Invest in rechargeable LED lights that you can use during the outages. Candles may be cheaper and may create a romantic ambiance but they can be a fire hazard. “There are great lighting technologies available which are also inexpensive. Two or three in your home will really brighten up the place,” said Etzinger. Rechargeable lights have a longer shelf life and create more light.

»Invest in thermos flasks. These will be useful should you want to have a cup of tea or coffee while waiting for the lights to come back on.

»Etzinger also suggests purchasing a small gas stove or a gas heater. “These are also very inexpensive and will make it possible for you to carry on with your regular routine.”

»In your grocery list also increase the number of non-perishables and dry foods. If you don’t have a gas stove, cooking becomes a nightmare when there is no electricity. Noodles, canned foods, dried fruit and breads are the best alternatives.

»During the blackout, ensure that all appliances are turned off. Often, when the electricity returns there is a power surge which could permanently damage many types of electrical appliances.

Load-shedding schedule for Greater Joburg

Load-shedding schedule for Ethekwini

Load-shedding schedule for Cape Town

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