VIPs not exempt from load shedding

Load shedding and rolling blackouts is once again becoming commonplace, with citizens paying attention to the news to find out what stage of load shedding to prepare for.

The practice is a necessary one in order to manage the demand for electricity, as the generation capacity of Eskom has been dealt a number of blows, and the supply cannot match the demand. Without load shedding, there is a real risk of system failure and a prolonged period to get the network functional again.

Depending on the amount of electricity shortfall, areas can expect varying levels of power puts during any given day, and many are now used to looking at their area timetables and planning accordingly.

But it seems that some neighbourhoods are simply not affected by these planned power cuts, and it has led to theories being created - such as high-ranking politicians being exempt, or that the parliamentary village at Acacia Park (Goodwood) being overlooked.

However, the real reasons include the agreement that electricity to essential services be maintained. This includes hospitals and the like. Also, sewerage works require the pumps to be operational, otherwise the network would fail.

As a result, those areas that share the grid with these services are spared from load shedding.

With regards to the parliamentary village - the area (which includes parts of neighbouring Edgemead and Plattekloof) is serviced by a substation that is currently being refurbished, and the power cannot be cut as a result. However, plans are being made to have the power switched off for that area, from a different point in the electricity network.

Kieno Kammies spoke to Eskom's Western Cape Provincial Head Alwie Lester and to the City of Cape Town's Head of Network Control, Gordon Dindi. Listen to the full interview below:

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