Use electricity sparingly and brace yourselves for power cuts, says the City of Cape Town. This follows Eskom’s warning of load shedding to deal with a supply emergency sparked by industrial action by Eskom workers unhappy that the state-owned power company plans to deny them a pay hike this year.
Last week, the City cautioned residents – already reeling from a water crisis that has them flushing their loos with buckets and taking stop-go 90-second showers in winter – to familiarise themselves with load-shedding schedules on its website.
Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services; and energy, said load-shedding would continue throughout the next week.
“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.”
The City’s electricity control centre remained on standby and the situation would be monitored, she said. “We will continue to do everything possible to reduce the impact on Cape Town’s residents.”
Preparing for power cuts:
* 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 found easily in the dark.
* Keep boiled water in a Thermos flask for hot drinks
* Switch off and unplug all electronics and appliances that can be damaged by a voltage spike when the power comes on.
* SMS the City’s technical operations centre on 31220 if the power is off for longer than specified.
The restoration of power sometimes leads to “nuisance tripping’” that often goes unreported due to the assumption it is due to load shedding.