December 2018 Cape Town Loadshedding Links

Like a poor sequel, loadshedding (you may remember it from such terms as “Rolling Blackouts”) has returned, and once again, we are regularly being plunged into darkness.

Being plunged into darkness is never good at the best of times, but if you don’t know that it’s coming, it can be particularly irritating. So, best that you know when it’s coming then, and we’re here to help.

The good news for those of us in Cape Town is that some degree of loadshedding is often mitigated by our spare generation capacity (the hydroelectric unit up at Steenbras).

If you’re going to work out when and how much you’re going to be loadshod, you need a few bits of information. First off, you need to know whether you are supplied by the City or by Eskom and you need to know what stage loadshedding we are on.

To see what stage the local loadshedding is on, check this page.

To check for who your supplier is, look at the map here.

If you’re not in one of the cheerfully coloured areas, you’re an Eskom customer, and you should go here to view the appropriate schedules.

If you are in one of the cheerfully coloured areas, look at which one and then head here to see when you’re going to be cut off.

And that’s it. Loadshedding isn’t an exact science, so no promises made as to what might actually happen on the ground at the time, but this is as good a guideline as you’re going to get.

Loadshedding should last for about 2½ hours a pop. If it goes on much longer than that something has gone wrong (or it wasn’t loadshedding in the first place – other electrical problems are also possible), talk to the City on 0860 103 089 or Eskom on 086 00 37566.

Or do some online shouty stuff:

Don’t forget to not tell them where you live. That’s always helps.

Other useful links:
City twitter
Eskom twitter
Khulu Phasiwe twitter – Eskom spokesperson – DO NOT SHOOT THE MESSENGER.

Loadshedded Dodgeball

Once again, I am court-side at the trampoline park. There’s no blaring music though, because the electricity has just gone down. This was fully expected, but the lady sitting next to me has gone to complain anyway,  as if the guys here can do anything about the failed state-owned enterprise which supplies (or doesn’t supply) the power here.

No lights here either then, but there’s enough sunlight filtering through the translucent windows to make the Dodgeball Academy session slightly more difficult and quite a bit more dangerous.

The coffee machine isn’t working, of course.

I may not survive.

Cape Town Loadshedding 2018

I would really rather not be writing this one.

Yep. Loadshedding is back. Not wet coal or no coal or breakdowns or corruption this time. This is strike action, although some believe it should be called something entirely different:

Because yes, this electricity shortage is because the workers aren’t happy about not getting a pay rise this year. But whatever terminology you wish to use, it’s the everyday people of the country that will suffer.

Which brings me to my next point: if you are in Cape Town, when might you be likely to suffer?

Here’s the information you need, in handy PDF form.

To work out when you might expect the lights to go out. And the TV, during the World Cup. Or the rugby, you smarmy egg-chasers. Yeah, that grin disappeared pretty quickly, didn’t it?

Using the schedule isn’t exactly rocket surgery. Use the map to find the numbered area in which you live or work (or intend to watch the sport), then match the date on the timetable below to see when you can expect the misery of a rolling blackout.

If you’re outside any of the gaily coloured areas on the map, then you need to go to the Eskom website to get your schedule.

Koeberg go woo-woo

Just a reminder that Koeberg Power Station will be conducting a full volume test of its siren and public announcement system between 10:00 & 12:00 today.

Eskom’s Khulu Phasiwe stated that testing of the siren and PA system is done once a year as part of Koeberg’s emergency preparedness, in line with its licensing conditions.

Residents within 16km of the power station have already been notified, and need not panic as this is only a test.

However, if past tests are anything to go by, it’s likely that the sirens will be more effective than the notifications, so you can help by sharing the link to this post all over the Melkbos and (Uns)Table View Facebook groups.

Although, why you would be in those groups is a bit beyond me.

Eskom: Good news?

On fairly regular occasions on this blog, we have taken the pi… we have taken the mickey out of state-owned electricity generating behemoth, Eskom. You can look here for most all of those posts.

But, credit where it is due, it does seem like Brian Molefe has begun some sort of turnaround at the much maligned power utility. There was a very positive – if characteristically honest – press conference this morning, at which these lines were uttered:

We don’t foresee load-shedding for the year unless something goes terribly wrong, but it is still conceivable because we are not out of the woods yet.

Fair enough – and they’ve done well right over summer (the last loadshedding was on 14th September 2015), so who’s to say that it might not continue through winter too – especially with new projects coming online as well:

The successful synchronisation of unit three of the R25bn Ingula hydro pump storage scheme to the grid last week will add 333MW, reducing pressure on the grid and allowing Eskom to undertake its maintenance programme.

Ingula is basically a huge version of the Steenbras pumped-storage scheme, which saved Cape Town from loadshedding on several occasions last winter.
In fact, the future’s so bright, we may have to wear some sort of eye protection:

Mr Molefe said Eskom was working very hard to conclude its construction of the Medupe and Kusile power stations ahead of target. The two power stations and Ingula will add about 11,000MW to the grid on completion of them all in about five years’ time.
On completion, he said, SA would have enough electricity for economic growth and perhaps even a surplus to sell to its neighbours.

A surplus? Blimey.

Of course, there are still uncertainties – like the fact that there’s not ever so much water to run through the Ingula turbines at the moment, and like the vicious circle of the crappy economy caused by the shortage of electricity meaning that Eskom will have to pay more for its loans, meaning that prices will have to go up (again) or less maintenance and building will be possible.

But generally, better – right?

UPDATE: Here’s an alternative view though:

The improved outlook is less about what the state power utility is doing and more to do with an economic slowdown.

OK, that’s not great. But still… no loadshedding, right? #GlassHalfFull