Eskom has firmed up a plan to implement load shedding in Johannesburg in two-hour blocks, instead of the current four-hour interruptions, with effect from 19 January. However, City Power customers are not affected by the changes — yet.
“Eskom in Gauteng and in some parts of North West will, from Tuesday, 19 January, implement load shedding for two hours in all its areas of supply,” Eskom said in a statement on Monday afternoon.
In Johannesburg, the new two-hour blocks for load shedding will be implemented in Sandton, Randburg, Soweto, Midrand, Cosmo City, Diepsloot and Ivory Park, Eskom said.
Other areas affected by the change include Orange Farm, Sebokeng and Sharpeville as well as the local municipalities of Merafong, Mogale City and Randfontein. In North West, Klerksdorp, Mmabatho and Vryburg also move to two-hour blocks, Eskom said.
The move comes just hours after the state-owned power utility tweeted that it was in talks with City Power — the City of Johannesburg’s electricity supply company — to reduce the duration of the load-shedding outages. City Power has not yet formally communicated any plans to implement the requested changes.
Most parts of South Africa experience load shedding in two-hour blocks, rather than the four-hour blocks (plus up to 30 minutes in restoration time) implemented in Johannesburg.
The long outages in Johannesburg can prove crippling for businesses. For example, when load shedding is implemented at midday, power is only restored between 4pm and 4.30pm, near the end of the business day.
“The move from four to two hours of load shedding is aimed at addressing the unintended consequences that come with the longer supply interruptions, particularly during the resurgence of Covid-19,” Eskom said.
The utility said it has engaged with the affected municipalities and load shedding schedules will be updated in due course. — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media