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Eskom implements shock loadshedding

Eskom has declared a power system emergency at extremely short notice and implemented loadshedding for the second time in less than 24 hours. 

The City of Cape Town advises residents that it is able to operate the schedule as before, and avert low levels of loadshedding if consumption remains low. Residents are, however, advised to be prepared for periods without power.

Due to spare generation capacity available at the Steenbras pumped storage scheme at the time, residents of Cape Town were spared the first two blocks of outages, between 12:00 and14:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00 as these were applicable to off-peak times. But when consumption increases during peak periods it is likely that power will need to be conserved. Residents are advised to familiarise themselves with the schedule available on the City’s website to know when to expect their area to be without power and to prepare accordingly.

‘We are entirely dependent on Eskom informing us of what their generation capacity will be so unfortunately we are at this point unable to provide residents with more detailed information on what to expect. However, we believe that there is a risk that loadshedding will continue to be implemented throughout the next week,’ said Cllr Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy.

‘Our teams were given a few minutes’ notice yesterday evening that they would need to trigger loadshedding operations, and this was amidst conflicting messages from the parastatal, so we urge residents to be on guard and prepared for this eventuality at all times.

‘We ask that residents please do everything possible to keep consumption to a minimum. If residents are using a lot of energy then there is not much left to spare of the Steenbras surplus. We are especially grateful for the power generated by the Steenbras pumped storage scheme as it allowed our Muslim residents to celebrate Eid without having to sit down to a cold lunch.

‘We further ask that residents please do not phone the call centre about power outage unless more than 30 minutes has passed beyond the scheduled period for their area, as this will overload the staff.

‘We are hopeful that, given the typically reduced loads of consumption over the weekend, we will not need to resort to loadshedding. We will continue to monitor the situation and our electricity control centre remains on standby. We will continue to do everything possible to reduce the impact on Cape Town’s residents,’ said Cllr Limberg

Preparing for an outage

  • Charge your phone
  • Fill your tank – petrol station pumps don’t work during outages
  • Have some cash handy as ATMs won’t work
  • Switch electric garage doors and security gates to manual operation
  • Make sure you have torches, batteries, candles and matches, and put them somewhere where they can be easily found in the dark
  • Keep boiled water in a thermos flask for hot drinks

Outage tips

Switch off and unplug all electronics and appliances when the power is due to go off as it may come back with a spike in the voltage, which can damage electronic devices such as computers, television sets, DVD players, etc.

If your electricity remains off for longer than the period specified in the schedule, SMS the City’s technical operations centre on 31220. The restoration of power sometimes results in what is described as ‘nuisance tripping’, which often goes unreported due to the assumption that the outage is due to loadshedding.

The City of Cape Town will communicate further as and when more information becomes available.

Please find your area schedule for download at the following link:

Published by:
City of Cape Town, Media Office


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