South Africans have been advised to get use to Eskom’s power outages and now Capetonians will have to get used to new load shedding times as well
The City of Cape Town said in a statement on Monday that it will be rolling out a new roster when load shedding strikes and it will kick in from February 1.
See how you will be affected
"With this new schedule, the City will ensure that residents always experience scheduled power outages at a different time and weekday than before, thereby rotating the inconvenience of power outages across all supply areas," said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg.
Cape Town Load Shedding Schedule 2015
Read:How to survive load shedding
The current load shedding schedule was designed for occasional load shedding during peak demand time and it uses the days of the week.
The new schedule provides a more frequent rotation and will be implemented according to the days of the month.
The City said that the changes came about as a result of Eskom declaring load shedding on a more regular basis and over weekends.
"This has led to a situation where some residents repeatedly experienced scheduled power outages at the most inconvenient times and days of the week."
The City said the new load shedding schedule and an area map of the different supply areas will be distributed with community newspapers during the last week of January.
"Residents are advised to keep these and to refer to the schedule and the map so that they can take the necessary precautions whenever load shedding is required by Eskom."
The new schedule will also be available from February 1 on the City’s website and will be accessible on mobile cell phones as well.
Sonnenberg said residents, whose electricity supply remains off for longer than the period specified in the schedule, should send an SMS to the City’s technical operations centre on 31220.
She also appealed to residents to switch off all electronics and appliances during power outages.
At times when power is restored there is the potential for it to come back with a spike in the voltage, said Sonnenberg, pointing out that this can be damaging to electronic devices such as computers, television sets and DVD players.
Here are some tips to minimise the inconvenience of load shedding, according to the City:
- Ensure that your cell phone is always fully charged when power is available.
- Ensure that your vehicle always has fuel in the tank since during power outages, petrol stations cannot pump fuel
- Ensure that you have adequate cash as auto tellers cannot operate without electricity.
- Release automatic electric garage door mechanisms to allow you to gain access to your property during a power outage.
- Release electric security gates and switch to manual operation to avoid either being locked out or locked into your home.
- Keep temporary lighting, such as candles and electric torches readily available.
- Keep a torch (with fresh batteries) by your bedside at all times
- Obtain a small LP gas lamp, as they provide good quality lighting for a large area
- Boil water and keep in hot water flasks for hot drinks for when the power is scheduled to be switched off
- Use a thermal cover on tea pots and other pots and pans to keep hot drinks, soup and other hot meals warm
- Prepare meals beforehand in readiness for periods when there will be power cuts
- Obtain a stand-by bottled LP gas heating ring for essential cooking and to boil water for hot beverages
- Keep adequate stocks of essential foodstuffs that do not need to be refrigerated
- Keep refrigerator doors closed, as a power outage of up to four hours should not cause food spoilage, and a freezer should keep frozen food safe for at least a day.
- Most medication requiring refrigeration can be kept in a closed fridge for several hours without spoiling. To be sure about this, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Fill plastic containers with water, leaving some space inside each container for expansion during freezing in a deep-freeze or the freezer compartment of your fridge. This frozen water will help keep food cold during a power outage.
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Image: Fluorescent bulb from Shutterstock