Substation explodes while load shedding implemented

2019-03-20 06:00
PHOTO: sourced

PHOTO: sourced

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AREAS of Pietermaritzburg were left in complete darkness for much of the weekend after contributing factors such as load shedding and an exploded substation on the corner of Pietermaritz and West Street resulted in power outages.

The city centre, Wembley, Clarendon and Prestbury all supplied by the Masons Substation were affected.

Residents say they heard loud bangs from as early as 10 am which lead them to realise that the substation was on fire.

Thobeka Mafumbatha, the municipal spokesperson, said that the explosion was due to failure on the 11kV fault incomer. “No one was injured when the explosion occurred and the incident is currently still being investigated. Power was restored in most of the areas within hours of the explosion,” said Mafumbatha.

With load shedding expected to be on the increase throughout Pietermaritzburg, many residents have stressed that their wallets are being hurt significantly by the load shedding with many families having to pay for added costs such as takeaway due to their lights being turned off around meal times.

Minimise the cost of load shedding on your pocket

The nationwide load shedding can be a costly inconvenience for South African households that plan their monthly budgets well in advance.

South African households are already under pressure due to recent increases in fuel prices and other costs of living. Load shedding adds to the financial burden, hence consumers need to review and monitor their budgets and allocate funds accordingly to mitigate wastage,” says Ester Ochse, product specialist, FNB Wealth and Investments.

Ochse suggests the following to help ease the load shedding burden:

• Understand and know what stage of load shedding you are experiencing. This will give you an indication of how long you will be left without power.

“Power utilities like Eskom and City Power run updated load shedding schedules on various news sites, so ensure that you know when your area will be affected. Four schedules have been developed based on the probability outages and to ensure that load shedding is applied in a fair and equitable manner,” she says.

• Prepare a weekly food/meal planner. This will help you prepare and budget for your weekly food purchases accordingly and will help reduce wastage. Try not to purchase food items that require a freezer as with load shedding, items which require cold storage could go to waste.

• Shop on a weekly basis for groceries and certain items. Ensure that you stick to your meal planner and shop just enough for the week.

• Travel plans need to be also be made around load shedding to avoid being stuck in traffic for extended periods. Allocate enough time for travel purposes to ensure that you don’t miss vital appointments.

• Consider minimising your reliance on electricity by looking at affordable alternatives such as buying a gas stove.

— Tips supplied by FNB Wealth and Investments.

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