City Power has warned that stage 6 load shedding is producing further shocks and challenges for the utility, its systems, infrastructure, and customers and that Eskom’s purposeful power disruptions are costing it millions of rands.
Customers in Johannesburg have reported several outages during load-shedding restorations and protracted outages due to higher levels of blackouts, according to the regional utility.
Due to ‘lower demand,’ Eskom announced stage 5 power disruptions from 5 a.m. on Saturday to 4 p.m. on Friday.
However, the crippled state-owned enterprise said that it would undertake stage 6 purposeful power outages from 4 p.m. Saturday until 5 a.m. Sunday.
According to City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena, Johannesburg is losing millions due to load shedding.
“We lose about R3.6m daily due to load shedding, and the current higher stages of load shedding do not help.
“Most of our Medium Voltage infrastructure is operating on an abnormal configuration due to the high number of abnormal plants. The normal situation is to have about 50 or less but currently, we have more than 500 plants that are out of service which is attributable to the relentless load shedding episodes,” Mangena said.
Mangena went on to say that the Eskom-aligned schedule City Power uses during the higher stages of planned power outages, particularly Stage 6, leads some customers in certain blocks to remain without power for four hours instead of two.
“This also means that most customers are load shed more than three or four times daily due to the number of blocks we are adding per outage schedule. This is beyond our control and we apologise.
“These are some of the undesirable effects of Loadshedding, especially Stage 6, which unfortunately, we have to live with until Eskom’s capacity challenges are over,” he said.
City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava said the past few days have been the hardest for its customers in Johannesburg and employees whose “sole duty is to keep the lights on and half the time are not able to.
“The truth is that load shedding is an undesired nuisance for our operations, and the higher stages including Stage 6 where we find ourselves currently, are worse,” she said.