Eskom urged to exclude Middelburg from loadshedding

2013-11-24 19:58
Eskom

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Middelburg - Eskom has been urged to exclude the Steve Tshwete local municipality in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, from all future loadshedding measures because its accounts have always been up to date.

Eskom imposed loadshedding measures on all municipalities in the country last Tuesday because it had only 32 200MW available to meet a national demand of 30 528MW. The measures were later suspended when the electricity grid stabilised.

"The Steve Tshwete local municipality does not have any outstanding debt with Eskom, and it’s highly unfair to punish those who have paid for their services, while other Mpumalanga municipalities have run up unpaid electricity debts in excess of R480m,” said Democratic Alliance councillor at Steve Tshwete municipality, Bosman Grobler on Friday.

He said it was also ironic that thousands of Steve Tshwete residents who are employed by the coal mining and secondary sectors, are directly affected by loadshedding - "yet, without their efforts and dedication, there would be no coal for our power stations".

“While we are relieved that the electricity grid has stabilised sufficiently to suspend load shedding, we call on Eskom to not subject Steve Tshwete residents to emergency measures, as consumers will be incentivised to continue paying for the service while at the same time be encouraged to use less electricity,” he said.

He also noted that Eskom was partly to blame for the emergency after failing to meet its own deadlines in the construction of the Medupi and Kusile power stations.
Eskom’s Chief Executive Brian Dames warned that the risk of another emergency declaration remained as the electricity grid continues to be constrained.

“The system still remains critical and we will continue to heavily rely on the partnerships we have with our customers for the necessary voluntary load reduction to keep us going,” Dames said.

“The decision to declare an emergency on Tuesday was not taken lightly, but was a necessary one to make. While it was the first time we declared an emergency since 2008, we are in a much better position to manage the situation than we were back then. We now have the equisite skills, experience, knowledge, programmes and a robust risk and early warning protocol in place,” Dames adds.

He urged all South Africans to partner with Eskom to save at least 10% of their electricity usage. “Consumers are urged to switch off pool pumps, geysers, air-conditioning and unnecessary lights throughout the day and particularly in the evening from 17:00 to 21:00. We recommend that if air conditioning has to be used, it should be set at 23°C,” he said.
Read more on:    eskom  |  electricity

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