City will continue to shield residents from two stages of load-shedding amidst Stage 6 devastation

29 Jun 2022 in Where We Govern

In light of Eskom’s announcement that Stage 6 load-shedding will once again be implemented from 16:00 to 22:00 this evening, it offers me a small degree of hope that the City will be able to limit this to Stage 4.

Our ability to offer load-shedding mitigation is primarily due to the fact that we are able to operate the Steenbras Hydroelectric Plant at full capacity during Eskom’s Stage 6.

We consider load-shedding above Stage 4 to be an acute socio-economic emergency that requires far-reaching, harm-preventing interventions.

At levels of load-shedding above Stage 4, critical infrastructure — including electricity, water, sanitation, and communications assets — is put at even more serious risk than usual. These facilities and equipment are simply not designed to be switched off and on with such regularity, nor do they contain batteries that are able to provide power for upwards of 10 hours per day. Long periods of downtime also leave this infrastructure more vulnerable to theft and vandalism, putting severe strain on our law enforcement resources.

Councillor Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation, reports that some of our infrastructure is under strain after this prolonged period of load-shedding, and that there are sporadic reports of problems with seweage infrastructure. These problems are being urgently and capably addressed by City staff. It is important to note that some of our infrastructure receives City-supplied electricity, while other water and sanitation infrastructure built in Eskom’s direct-service areas are experiencing nine hours of outages under Stage 6, severely affecting operations.

We are hard at work on our project of drastically reducing Cape Town’s reliance on Eskom-generated power and are looking at every possible avenue of expediting this process, even though national legislation imposes strict and lengthy procedural requirements on municipal procurement.