The Ongoing Struggle with Load Shedding Load shedding, particularly at stage 6, has become a major concern for the City of Tshwane. The area’s electricity infrastructure is under tremendous stress, and officials are sounding the alarm.
The Unintended Consequences of Load Shedding Themba Fosi, the MMC for utilities and regional operations and coordination, warns that load shedding’s higher levels are negatively impacting the city’s ability to deal with outages.
Why is Tshwane’s Infrastructure Struggling? The root of the problem lies in the fact that Tshwane’s networks were never designed for load shedding. Turning power on and off constantly takes a toll on the condition of the network infrastructure.
A City Stretched to Its Limits As load shedding becomes more frequent, city resources are pushed to their limits. The same teams responsible for switching areas off and on during load shedding are also critical for electricity network repair and maintenance. Unfortunately, this means they have significantly less time available to work on restoring electricity during unrelated outages.
When Mother Nature Strikes To make matters worse, the region has experienced heavy rains, which only exacerbate the situation. Wet weather, it turns out, increases the likelihood of equipment faults.
What Can Residents Do to Help? Tshwane officials are asking consumers to turn off all appliances during load shedding, leaving only lights on. This is because power surges can cause areas to trip minutes after being restored back online.
Load Shedding’s Ripple Effects: Water Supply Disruptions Load shedding’s impact isn’t limited to electricity. It’s also led to intermittent water supply in high-lying areas like Laudium and Waterkloof Ridge, where water pumps have been disrupted by power outages.
Bracing for a Cold, Dark Winter Winter is coming, and with it, the frequency of load shedding is only expected to worsen. Analysts, the Minister of Electricity, and researchers all point to a grim forecast of skyrocketing power demand and relatively stagnant supply.
Eskom’s Predictions: A Bleak Outlook Eskom, the power company, has created various scenarios for the upcoming winter months. The most optimistic scenario results in stage 4 to 5 load shedding during the coldest months. The most pessimistic, however, could see stages 7 and 8 being implemented. Worryingly, recent unplanned outages have already surpassed the worst-case scenario.
As winter approaches, Tshwane residents must prepare for the possibility of a severe power crisis. With electricity infrastructure under strain, city resources stretched thin, and an unforgiving winter on the horizon, it’s crucial for residents to do their part in mitigating the impact of load shedding.