The City of Cape Town is working hard to build reserves to enable it to protect customers from two stages of Eskom’s loadshedding over the week ahead, where possible. This is subject to updates where required as there are variables at play such as the Steenbras Dam levels necessary for the hydro pump action; and the general volatility of the Eskom situation. It is expected that Eskom’s Stage 6 could continue throughout the week but a worsening of loadshedding cannot be ruled out at this stage.
The City’s ability to protect customers diminish to a large extent after Stage 6, although limited mitigation would be possible by garnering gas turbine capacity. Currently, and over this evening, 18 September 2022, the City is using its Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme to generate spare capacity to enable a measure of protection for the week ahead.
‘We urge residential and commercial customers to work with us by curtailing load and also flattening the evening peak usage. Customers can continue to look at reducing usage. Geysers use the bulk of household energy and reducing the temperature of the geyser to 60 degrees Celsius or making sure the geyser is on a timer or only active for an hour or two per day is a crucial step to reducing energy usage”.
“The City is also continuing to build on its programme of ending loadshedding over time by focusing on energy diversification to enhance security of supply with the City’s own build projects, small-scale embedded generation programmes of buying excess power from qualifying customers, wheeling and independent power producer programmes. But for now, we need an urgent national government intervention from President Cyril Ramaphosa to avert this fast-approaching disaster,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen.
City loadshedding safety tips
City teams are working hard to assist customers and residents during Eskom’s loadshedding.
Please be aware of public safety risks associated with loadshedding, especially at night, such as:
• Increased risk of fire due to the alternative methods of lighting and cooking.
• Smash-and-grab and hijacking incidents
• Pedestrian safety
• Traffic congestion due to traffic lights out at intersections
• Vandalism and theft/damage to critical infrastructure leading to more outages – critical periods are overnight. Safety and Security will deploy priority patrol in the hotspot areas.
• Secondary tripping leading to extended power outages, as demand increases over the week.
• The possibility of sewer overflows as some pump stations might overflow if load-shedding is implemented for prolonged times.
Some safety tips:
• Keep a bit of cash as ATMs don’t work without power.
• Keep gas lights, battery-powered torches, candles for easy use.
• Backup batteries for electric gates, garage doors and security systems should be kept in a good working condition and be able to last through periods of loadshedding.
• Traffic lights that are out without traffic service assistance are four-way stops. City Safety and Security teams are deployed to assist across the metro hot spots. If residents are able to avoid a commute, do so and work from home.
• Keep fuel in the vehicle’s tank.
• Be careful at night.
• Ensure your cell phone and devices are charged.
• Boil water ahead of loadshedding and keep in flasks.
• Keep safely stored water at hand.
• Medication requiring refrigeration can be kept in a closed fridge for several hours without spoiling but you should check with your doctor or pharmacist if in doubt.
• Connect with your local neighbourhood watch for assistance. We encourage neighbourhoods to look out for the vulnerable members of the community.
• Make sure you have a family and work contact plan in place.
• Switch off electric appliances ahead of loadshedding to avoid power surges and extended outages when the power comes back on.
For life threatening emergencies please contact the Public Emergency Communication Centre on 021 480 7700 or 107 from a landline.
Report water and sanitation service requests (please only use one channel):
• WhatsApp: 060 018 1505
• Email: [email protected]
• SMS: 31373 (maximum 160 characters. Standard rates apply)
• Online: www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests
For transport related enquiries contact the Transport Information Centre (TIC) on 0800 65 64 63. The TIC is available 24/7.