Msunduzi Municipality welcomes end of load shedding

2008-05-02 00:00

The news that Eskom is abandoning load shedding has come as a great relief to the Msunduzi Municipality, although by yesterday, the strategic executive manager for services infrastructure and facilities, Phil Mashoko, had still not been officially informed of their decision, and no notice to that effect had been placed on their website.

Mashoko said yesterday that the positive implications of uninterrupted power would be far reaching, not only for business and consumers, but also for his department.

“It’s a good thing. The actions we had to undertake to implement load shedding were causing many faults with equipment, and we had a number of pieces of equipment blowing up.”

He said that his department lost a huge chunk of revenue as a result of the decrease in usage during load shedding — revenue which could have been recovered from 18 to 25 MVA per day. Mashoko was unable to quantify the amount.

In addition, hefty staff overtime costs would be avoided. “Switching areas on and off meant that we had to have artisans on the spot doing it manually. The overtime was biting us.” It also now frees up artisans who were part of a dedicated team dealing with load-shedding switching, to work on maintenance and upgrading.

Mashoko praised the efforts of big users like Hulamin, which have reduced their consumption, to ease the load on the city’s grid.

He said he believed that the primary motivation for load shedding was to change the behaviour of consumers. “And it seems that this strategy is working,” said Mashoko.

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