Eskom says 2-hour power cuts, but City Power says it will stick to 4 hours
Despite Eskom announcing it will reduce load-shedding hours to their direct customers in Gauteng and some parts of the North West, City Power in Johannesburg has reiterated its load-shedding schedule will remain the same.
On Monday, Eskom announced it will reduce load-shedding to two hours to address the unintended consequences that come with longer supply interruptions, particularly during the resurgence of Covid-19.
Gauteng has rotational power cuts of four hours. Most other cities experience two-hour cuts. Cities with two-hour cuts generally go down twice a day.
City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the electricity authority preferred longer outages because of, among other reasons, issues of capacity to manage load-shedding, the inter-connectivity of their network and the ability of Eskom’s infrastructure to handle the load-shedding demand.
“As things stand, we are struggling to keep up with load-shedding at four hours. Imagine with a two-hour frequency. Most of the pinch we feel currently is with regard to the knock-on effect on our network, infrastructure and manpower in terms of overtime and fatigue,” Mangena said.
He said they were sticking to switching off power for four hours during load-shedding because that means customers will lose power less frequently, and because it has a reduced impact on the health of the municipal power grid, enabling, among other things, maintenance in between.
“With four hours of load-shedding we switch customers off once a day and maybe come back and switch them off again after 24 hours. With two hours it will force us to switch off customers frequently, at least two to three times a day,” Mangena told TimesLIVE.
He said should there be any changes or plans to move to a new schedule and times, City Power will engage with its customers first and communicate accordingly.
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said municipalities make their own decisions about how they will use the electricity Eskom sells to them.