The City of Cape Town is making every effort to safeguard its residents in the event of Stage 8 load shedding by Eskom. Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis disclosed that during this level of load shedding, half of the city would be without electricity for at least 12 hours a day. The City has already activated its disaster operational centre (DOC) to manage the effects of sustained high stages of load shedding. In the event of Stage 8 or higher, the DOC’s mandate will be extended to cover the maintenance of critical services, such as water, electricity, health, waste, and transportation. Hill-Lewis added that the DOC would also oversee the protection of vital societal systems, such as food and fuel supply chains, as well as coordinate with the safety and security cluster to ensure communication and awareness initiatives remain informative and up-to-date.
To prepare for Eskom’s ongoing load shedding, the City is focusing on fuel storage, generators, and UPS systems, as well as communications and IS&T network readiness, to ensure business continuity. Hill-Lewis encouraged households and businesses to develop load shedding plans. Meanwhile, the City has set aside additional funding for generators and diesel, mainly for use at pump stations to avoid sewage overflows at beaches. The budget includes R17 million for generators and R117 million for fuel, with the goal of providing basic services infrastructure. As the country experiences higher and more prolonged stages of load shedding on the City’s water and sanitation infrastructure, which has resulted in sewage spills and overflows, the installation of generators at pump stations will prevent the temporary closure of beaches. The City also plans to allocate R20 million for additional maintenance at Steenbras Dam.