Weekend power cuts unlikely

2014-06-14 00:00

GOOD news for sports lovers — according to Eskom, load shedding is unlikely over the long weekend.

The power utility was responding to a question by Weekend Witness on what to expect in terms of blackouts over the weekend and if load shedding was going to affect viewing of world cup soccer matches and the rugby Test between South Africa and Wales.

The response received says that load shedding will be unlikely as long as citizens play their part and switch off non-essential appliances.

In a statement, Eskom said that the load on the power grid is generally lower during the weekend evening peak period. The system is expected to remain tight into next week as well between 5 pm and 9 pm when the demand increases due to residential usage in the evenings.

“For now, the system is stable and we don’t expect scheduled cuts over the weekend. We expect the system to be placed under strain again on Tuesday when people return to work after the long weekend,” a spokesperson said.

The power utility said that in an effort to avoid load shedding, non-essential appliances, such as pool pumps and geysers, should be switched off between 5 pm and 9 pm — especially between 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm, where it sees the greatest peak demand.

Commercial customers, particularly shopping centres and office blocks, can also make a big difference by switching off non-essential lights and not leaving office equipment such as photocopiers and computers in stand-by mode after hours.

Meanwhile, there was some confusion over the Pietermaritzburg load shedding schedule published in yesterday’s Witness. The schedule will only come into effect once load shedding commences.

Residents who called in were concerned about their suburbs being left out, for example the Grange and Westgate did not feature. Advice from the electricity desk is that these suburbs fall under the Masons sub-station that will follow the City Centre (Archbell + Masons) load-shedding schedule.

Some places like Mount Michael appear in two schedules — load shedding in this instance will depend on which section of the suburb you live in and which sub-station you fall under.

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