Load shedding here to stay

2007-11-16 00:00

Eskom's regional customer services manager, Pool Mahadeo, told the KZN Legislature yesterday that South Africans will have to put up with another five to seven years of load shedding. He urged businesses whose production is dependent on a steady flow of electricity to get back-up systems.

Minority Front leader Amichand Rajbansi asked why Eskom does not buy generators manufactured in China, saying they are one third of the price of others.

“I already have one, you should too,” he told his fellow parliamentarians. Mahadeo replied that Eskom is accessing transformers and generators from overseas and that China is one of the markets they are looking at.

He also assured the house that there will be no load shedding in Durban on the weekend of November 24 and 25, when the city plays host to 204 countries for the 2010 Fifa Preliminary World Cup Draw.

Mahadeo said load shedding is necessary as there is not enough capacity to meet the supply and demand for electricity in the country. However, he said that government's timetable to meet electricity backlogs by 2012 stands and they are aware that to achieve this Eskom will have to accelerate its programme dramatically.

Pietermaritzburg was yesterday asked to load shed by Eskom, following shortages in the country's electricity supply.

Msunduzi Municipality's manager for infrastructure, services and facilities, Phil Mashoko, said load shedding began at 3 pm in the Mayor's Walk and Prestbury area. “Victoria Road, Pine Street and the adjacent areas were also affected,” he said.

Mashoko said Eskom asked for 10 MVA of supply to be shed, but that he hoped additional load shedding would not be necessary once factories closed for the day.

Eskom consumers are asked to conserve energy by switching off non-essential equipment and geysers.

Businesses are asked to keep non-essential lighting and office equipment switched off, especially during peak periods: 7 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 9 pm.

Load shedding schedules are available on the Eskom website: www.eskom.co.za, and customers can contact Eskom's contact centre on 0860 037 566.

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