Load shedding leaves ‘Idols’ fans in a fit

2014-11-25 00:00

MARITZBURG residents were yesterday crying foul after unexpected load shedding meant they missed watching local Idols contestant Vincent Bones become South Africa’s next singing superstar.

Callers in the Western suburbs including Prestbury, Clarendon and Wembley found themselves without power from 6 pm to 8 pm, halfway through the show, meaning they missed the announcement of the winner.

The load-shedding schedules published in The Witness and on the Msunduzi website made no mention of power outages in the Western suburbs on a Sunday.

However, It was later confirmed by the municipality that there was load shedding on Sunday and that Thursday’s schedule had been followed.

Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) had also fielded a number of calls about load shedding.

PCB CEO Melanie Veness said in a statement that understandably, businesses were looking for some certainty as to whether load shedding was likely to occur or not.

“Unfortunately, it is impossible to say,” she added.

Veness told her members that ­Eskom generates electricity from a number of sources, and when supply was constrained, due to infrastructure failure or various supply challenges, the likelihood of load shedding ­increased.

“When the draw from consumers exceeds what can be supplied, Eskom requests that the municipalities load shed.

“You can see whether load shedding is currently occurring or not by visiting the following website: www.loadshedding.eskom.co.za. When the municipality is asked to load shed, they apply their standard load,” said Veness.

The schedule is also on the Msunduzi website: www.msunduzi.gov.za under public notices.

Veness confirmed that the current load-shedding times for Sunday should be ignored. She said if load shedding takes place on a Sunday, it will follow the scheduled times for a Thursday.

Attempts by The Witness to get comment on the load-shedding schedule from Msunduzi were unsuccessful yesterday.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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