New schedule starts today

2008-04-06 00:00

The latest version of the load shedding schedule starts today, amid mixed reactions from Pietermaritzburg residents.

City manager Rob Haswell said that it was revised after representations from business, residential and industrial customers.

“Clearly, we cannot satisfy everyone, and everyone has to be inconvenienced. Unfortunately, our sub-stations supply areas that have industrial, business and residential customers, and it is not possible to isolate these users.”

Haswell said the municipality has attempted to minimise load-shedding for industrial and business users during working hours, and to minimise load-shedding for residential areas during evening hours. “In residential areas, we have also reduced the duration of load-shedding in the evening hours, to two blocks — one from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm, and the other from 7.30 pm to 9 pm.”

He said that in terms of the new schedule, all users will experience seven to eight hours of load shedding per week and no area will be subjected to the same time slot during weekdays.

“On Saturdays, all areas have to endure load-shedding, but only for one-and-a-half hours during daytime, and for one hour only in the evening. We believe this new timetable to be fair to all, and we thank all who have made input.”

Haswell said the municipality is actively exploring medium-term strategies to lessen load shedding, not only in terms of inconvenience, but to keep the city’s economy and family life going.

While some residents complained that the new schedule is more inconvenient as it means more load shedding periods, others felt that it is much fairer.

stephs@witness.co.za

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