'Just provide electricity': Eskom dragged for offering 'load-shedding tips'
South Africans have lashed out at power utility Eskom on social media after it offered “load-shedding tips” to consumers on Sunday.
The embattled company announced on Sunday that it would implement stage 2 of load-shedding, which it attributed to its “constrained” and “vulnerable” system.
“Load-shedding is back and nobody's happy about it. But unless you have the money for generators, solar installations or other expensive alternatives, the reality is that you are at risk of losing power for periods of time until the national grid is stable again,” read the article from Information and Communication Technology Services at the University of Cape Town, which was shared by Eskom on its Twitter account.
South Africans were advised to “invest in equipment”, including surge protectors and solar-powered emergency lights.
On surge protectors, the article explained: “When the power comes back on, your electrical circuits can experience power surges, which could damage your appliances. Surge protectors, which plug right into your wall socket, are relatively cheap and will minimise the risk of power surges damaging precious equipment.”
On Sunday, Eskom said two units at Kusile could not return to service due to difficulties in restarting them.
“The system remains constrained and vulnerable and Eskom will give a further update on the power situation tomorrow afternoon [on Monday]. The return to service of two generation units at Kusile power station that were not available last week has been delayed due to difficulties in restarting the units which are now expected to service starting tomorrow,” said Eskom in a statement.
Angry South Africans said the power utility should instead give itself tips on how to provide consistent electricity to citizens.
Here are some of the reactions:
Load shedding has been the status quo for more than 10 years now. You're giving tips here but what have you done to make the most of electrical downtime? Why, in more than 10 years, has proper systems and infrastructure not been put in place to eradicate the need for blackouts?— Lory (@Lory_sg) January 17, 2021
I loose 4 hours work every time the schedule affects me, a generator is too expensive for me, tried a UPS but that thing dies 30min into load shedding. Busy saving up for a laptop but honestly how long will the battery 🔋 last into load reduction and shedding ? Township life 😭— Gregarious Fellow 🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹 (@Tshepo_manoto) January 17, 2021
How about you do your job and supply electricity? Aged fleet and poorly maintained units, loss of generation capacity and cold coal, until when? 😕— Jerome M (@jeromemahabeer) January 17, 2021
Please tell your marketing team to stop this now, it's completely inappropriate and unwanted.— Shnappel 🍏🇿🇦 (@Shaun_Original) January 17, 2021