Eskom asks people not to use their product
Strange but true! Not so long ago South Africans were delighted to hear that Eskom will be able to supply enough power, therefor no load shedding. The lights will stay on. That’s what they said. Too good to be true? Yes, it was!
It started with a warning from Escom this week: Extremely tight power supply! Especially over the evening peak. There is a peak because that is the time people get home from work and school. The stove goes on to prepare food, the heater goes on because everybody is freezing and the geyser goes on to get the whole family showered in warm water. In the mean time the TV goes on for the evening news and programs, while regular ads are run: Eskom advertises to ask consumers to please NOT use their product! Particularly when all these well liked programs are on. Did anybody listen? I think not.
Eskom is now on stage one of load shedding
What does load shedding stage one mean? It means there is a demand to save 1 000 MW of electricity to prevent the national grid from total collapse. The website of Escom stated this load shedding is due to high demand or urgent maintenance being performed at certain power stations. One has to wonder whether they never knew about or planned to do this maintenance when they made the promise of ‘the lights will stay on’. Surely maintenance is to be expected and planned for.
The different stages of load shedding dictate the amount of electricity to be shed. This is how it works:
Stage 1 – up to 1 000 MW of electricity must be shed.
Stage 2 – up to 2 000 MW of electricity must be shed; and
Stage 3 – up to 4 000 MW of electricity must be shed.
“Stage 1 requires the smallest amount of load shedding, and results in areas being shed for a period of time that will differ depending on the Metro or Municipality that supplies the area’s electricity,” according to Eskom’s website.
When stage 1 load shedding is taking place in areas, the result is:
No power once for two hours in a two day period.
No power once for four hours every fourth day in Eskom-supplied Johannesburg areas.
The promise is: a similar situation for Wednesday and Thursday evening as well (and who knows how many more days), due to expected high demand related to the cold expected weather. Now this is a promise to be believed, as we can be sure they’ll deliver on this one.
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