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    eThekwini water and electricity infrastructure buckling under load shedding


    September 26, 2022 - Se-Anne Rall

     

      Durban - Rolling blackouts, which Eskom said on Sunday would continue at stage 3 and 4 levels for the rest of the week, are wreaking havoc on eThekwini municipality’s infrastructure.

      “Stage 3 load shedding will continue to be implemented between midnight and 4pm until Thursday, while stage 4 load shedding will be implemented daily during the evening peaks from 4pm until midnight, the utility said in a statement.

      Eskom said it was still experiencing constraints from its diesel suppliers and this was affecting the availability of bulk diesel to the Ankerlig and Gourikwa open cycle gas turbines, which have a combined capacity of 2 000 megawatts.

      "While we expect diesel deliveries from Tuesday onwards, should this uncertainty of supply persist, higher stages of load shedding may be required. While some generation units are anticipated to return to service, it is necessary to continue the load shedding to conserve emergency generation reserves," Eskom said.

      The state-owned utility said since Friday, a generation unit each at the Camden and Kriel power stations had been taken off line for repairs, while another generating unit each at Kriel and Kusile was returned to service.

      eThekwini municipality noted numerous electricity outages throughout various areas due to prolonged load shedding.

      "Electrical power systems are not designed for such frequent interruptions as called upon for load shedding,“ the city said.

      As a result of load shedding, the city is experiencing more switchgear and cable failures.“

      The municipality advised residents to switch off non-essential appliances during load shedding and switch them on in 15-minute intervals once power was restored.

      "We urge communities to be patient as we work through this difficult period that the country is facing due to the national power system constraint," the city added.

      Meanwhile, last week's stage 6 load shedding saw a number of interruptions to power supply in major bulk water treatment works and several other strategic installations in Durban.

      For more information regarding water supply, the public can contact the toll-free number 080 311 1111 or use the eThekwini water and sanitation WhatsApp number 073 1483 477. Alternatively, email: Eservices@durban.gov.za

      The public can report electricity faults to the electricity WhatsApp line 076 791 2449 or email electricity.faults@durban.gov.za

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