PMB’s load-shedding trial sheds light

2015-10-28 06:00

LOAD shedding might be avoided following the success of the second load-shedding mitigation trial undertaken by the PMB Chamber of Business (PCB).

PCB CEO, Melanie Veness, said that the chamber decided to intervene in the load-shedding situation because the impact on business in the city was increasing every day.

“The havoc that was created was beyond everyone’s expectations so we [PCB], and the municipal departments got together to develop a plan to alleviate the strain load shedding was causing to Pietermaritzburg residents,” she said.

Veness explained that during stage one and two of load shedding Eskom requires five percent and 10% respectively.

“In the grand scheme of things this is not unachievable, therefore instead of having a 100% shutdown period which affects business drastically it was decided that businesses have the capacity to contribute to the necessary percentage needed,” she said.

Therefore the PCB embarked on a trial to check whether this was possible and requested from the big businesses on the city’s electricity grid to cut down on non-essential lights and appliances to which the business community rose to the challenge.

During the second trial businesses managed to curtail their load and meet the demands of Eskom during both stages of load shedding proving, theoretically, that should Eskom announce load shedding during business hours, Pietermaritzburg will manage to keep the lights on because the necessary power will be given by businesses.

“The real test will be when there is load shedding, but we are confident we can make it work,” said Veness.

The curtail will only be possible during business hours when factories and plants are operational.

“I am in awe of our community. I stuck my head out knowing that we would rally together because that’s what the Pietermaritzburg business community does.

“I am fortunate to be working with people who have the same passion for the city as I do. It’s easy to do this knowing that we are community-minded,” said Veness.

For more information about how to help or to add your business to the curtailment address book, contact the PCB at 033 345 2747.

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