City customers protected from more than 1 700 of Eskom’s 3 000 hours of load-shedding

City of Cape Town customers were protected from more than 1 700 of Eskom’s 3 000 hours of load-shedding between February and November 2022. In November alone, Eskom implemented 614 hours of load-shedding, and the City offered 352 hours of protection from load-shedding.

• Where possible, the City has been able to protect its customers from up to two stages of load-shedding primarily through the management of the Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme.
• Importantly, all Capetonians have benefited from the City’s power generation management as it also protects critical City infrastructure used for service provision and protects the City’s electricity network.

I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to protect Cape Town from nearly 60% of load-shedding so far this year. The current national Stage 6 crisis just underscores the importance of our efforts to reduce our reliance on Eskom and end load-shedding in Cape Town over time.

While the City continues to protect customers from load-shedding as far as possible, we face the very real prospect of continued load-shedding at the highest stages due to the essential upgrade work on one of Eskom’s Koeberg units which will take it out of service for six months. In response, the City activated our Disaster Management Centre on Wednesday, 7 December, which will remain in a state of activation until the threat of a Stage 8 blackout recedes.

We’re doing all we can to protect critical infrastructure, including our electricity network, safeguarding essential basic services and safety operations.

Our Safety and Security Directorate is working hard to mitigate the public safety risks associated with higher stages of load-shedding, with the activation of the City’s multi-departmental Disaster Coordinating Committee.

Increased deployment in hotspot areas and point duty at priority intersections are among the measures implemented. Please be mindful of opportunistic crimes like smash and grab attacks at intersections.

Please also be on the lookout for suspicious activity including theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure under the cover of darkness. We have deployed resources to try and reduce these risks.

Motorists are also reminded to treat intersections where the traffic lights are out as four-way stops.

Load-shedding also increases the risk of fires. Please take precautions to mitigate the risks associated with load-shedding, as well as the warmer weather, particularly as it relates to the infirm, elderly, children and pets.

We are only able to use our Steenbras Hydro Pumped Scheme to do this because we ensure our plant is properly maintained and that we invest in our energy infrastructure for reliable services. It is important for Capetonians to understand that when the City protects its customers from some of the impacts of load-shedding, it is also to the benefit of all as critical infrastructure and the City’s own electricity network are protected so that service delivery can continue. Over time, we will be able to end load-shedding as many of our energy projects that are currently under way, are implemented.