Eskom on track to beat one record – the most load shedding in a year

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Masechaba Sefularo

72 days ago
Eskom on track to beat one record – the most load shedding in a year Eskom Megawatt Park. Picture Xanderleigh Dookey-Makhaza/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom is optimistic it won’t need to switch off our power next week but 2021 is on course to surpass last year's load shedding record.

The country suffered 47 days of rolling power cuts during the 2020–2021 financial year and this year is set to be far worse.

ALSO READ: Eskom confident of no load shedding this weekend - for now, at least

The utility suspended load shedding on Friday morning after a week of consecutive power cuts that peaked at stage 4.

In the past three weeks, South Africans have spent 15 days experiencing load shedding working around load shedding rosters, navigating through traffic jams and dealing with the financial losses due to the rolling power cuts.

For November so far, there have only been two days without load shedding.

There is now hope of no power cuts for next week if the system holds up.

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said: “We assure you that our power station managers are working very hard to bring back those networks that are back.”

De Ruyter said while they were doing everything possible to avoid more load shedding for this weekend and the week ahead certain problems remain.

DAMAGE TO INFRASTRUCTURE

Ivory Park residents protested outside Eskom’s Megawatt Park offices in Sunninghill on Friday, demanding the entire Eskom board resign, including De Ruyter.

ALSO READ: Ivory Park's protesting residents call for Eskom CEO's resignation

Residents say they must pay R6,000 per household by the utility for the restoration of their transformers.

Eskom in Gauteng says it experienced an increase in damaged infrastructure in areas like Ivory Park due to communities tampering with infrastructure.

Spokesperson Amanda Qithi-Baanyang said: “The replacement process of a failed mini substation or a transformer involves our technicians conducting meter audits, removing of illegal connections, disconnection of those who have contraventions and the settlement of fines to those who have contraventions.”

Resident Alda Mosima said Eskom technicians had been to Ivory Park several times with few results.

WE WANT THEM REMOVED

Elsewhere, traffic officers have been trying to clear roads blocked by protesting residents in Diekloof and Orlando East who say they have been without power for months.

Gauteng traffic police spokesperson Obed Sibasa said: “Motorists are advised to avoid those areas and find alternative routes.”

ALSO READ:JUDITH FEBRUARY: How many ways are there to be outraged?

Resident Bheki Nkutha said Minister Pravin Gordhan should also be removed from his position at the Public Enterprise Department.

“We want Andre de Ruyter to be fired because he is incompetent. We are facing perpetual load shedding so we are here to say that he must be fired, so that we can get a competent CEO and a board that will see to supply us with electricity.”

WATCH: ‘Fire Andrè de Ruyter!’ - Ivory Park residents demand electricity outside Eskom head office

This article first appeared on EWN : Eskom on track to beat one record – the most load shedding in a year

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