Johannesburg load shedding changes today, ushering in significant adjustments in how electricity is utilised in the city as City Power’s new load-shedding schedule takes effect on November 6, 2023.
As per hypertext, the transition occurred after Eskom, South Africa’s energy utility, announced on October 30, 2023, that load-shedding operations would be handed over to Johannesburg’s electricity infrastructure firm, City Power.
City Power will now oversee load shedding in most supply areas across Johannesburg and Gauteng, resulting in modifications to the load shedding blocks that will impact the schedule in areas managed by City Power, as stated in an announcement posted on X.
One of the prominent changes is the reduction in the duration of blackouts during higher load-shedding stages, particularly Stages 5, 6, 7, and 8.
Under Eskom’s management, these stages were characterised by intermittent four-hour load-shedding blocks, with Stage 8 resulting in three four-hour outages each day.
However, these extended four-hour outages often strained the electricity infrastructure, leading to prolonged periods without power for customers due to substation failures. This issue occurred as the backup batteries required for starting substations were not allowed sufficient time to recharge adequately.
To minimise these extended outages and failures, City Power has confirmed that higher load-shedding stages will involve more frequent power outages of shorter duration.
“Areas load shed by City Power will continue to follow a two-hour schedule even during stages 5 and higher load shedding,” the company stated.
So, what does this mean in practice?
According to EskomSePush, a leading load-shedding tracker, the new City Power Stage 8 will entail six distinct outages during the day, totalling 12 hours without power but with a two-hour break between load shedding. Under Eskom’s management, there would have been fewer outages, but each would have lasted longer.
While Eskom has never officially implemented Stage 8, the likelihood of its implementation soon is low due to recent improvements in energy generation. However, it is an example of how the new load-shedding blocks will function, with the same pattern applied to Stages 7, 6, and 5.
Despite the considerable time without power during higher stages, the two-hour breaks between outages should help mitigate substation breakdowns and failures, ensuring that power returns during these breaks.
This change impacts all areas in Gauteng, specifically in Johannesburg under City Power’s jurisdiction, except for Tshepisong, Lufhereng, Hoogland, Maroelada, Morningside, RIverclub, Dainfern, Bloubosrand, Waterford Estate, Riverbend, Kyasands, Bellairspark, Halfway House, Halfway Gardens, Vorna Valley, Willowway, and Marboro Transit Camp.
City Power has indicated that it will continue discussions with Eskom to explore taking over load-shedding operations for these areas.
For Johannesburg residents seeking to stay updated on the new outage plan, they should refer to EskomSePush. Existing users may need to “reset” their load-shedding area to receive the revised schedule.
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