Cape Town – News24 announced the launch of GridWatch on Monday, which is a load shedding planner that allows users to save multiple zones as well as alerting users when power cuts are announced or implemented.
Save this site: Gridwatch
“When the silo at Majuba collapsed in November last year, the country was plunged into load shedding,” said News24 editor-in-chief Andrew Trench.
“As the weeks passed, it became clear that load shedding was here to stay and, if the experts’ predictions are accurate, it could remain with us for years to come,” he said.
Fin24, the business section of News24, had been working hard to give users the latest news on Eskom and load shedding, said Fin24 editor Fadia Salie.
Save this site: Fin24 focus on load shedding
“We quickly realised that the various municipalities had different load shedding schedules, which frustrated users trying to find out when their lights were supposed to go out,” she said.
24.com product chief Cathryn Reece, who headed up the ground-breaking News24 Elections app, was quick to see value in creating a solution to this problem.
“It was a very daunting task,” she said. “We had to get data from the various municipalities and Eskom in order to build a solution that was simple and easy to use.”
From work to home
The web-based solution, which works effectively on mobile or PC, allows users to search their suburb or to search for zones within the various municipalities. Once found, users can save multiple queries with key names such as “home”, “work”, or “gym”.
Once saved, users can simply go to the site, which will tell you if there is load shedding and each saved item can expand to show users the week ahead, with what their various stages of load shedding would look like.
“This would particularly work well for Cape Town residents, whose zones change times every day,” said Reece.
There is also an option to report any issues, so if users can’t find their suburb or if the times are wrong, then they should alert News24 to them.
“We are working off data from Eskom and the municipalities, so if there are issues, alert News24 so we can correct the problem,” said Reece. “Eskom has kindly agreed to send us their updated schedule each week.”
“While we have made every effort to ensure the validity of each schedule, and will continue to update schedules and add new schedules as they become available, we have no way of guaranteeing that each schedule will be adhered to by the corresponding supply authority,” said Reece.
"This site will therefore show you the scheduled outages for your areas, but may not correspond directly to what is happening in your area in real time.”
“News24 and Fin24 users can look forward to more innovations around load shedding, as we aim to deliver solutions and content that makes load shedding and the current power crisis more bearable,” said Trench.
A look at how GridWatch works: