Stage 2 loadshedding is set to commence next week until May 2020 for residents of Cape Town.The city of Cape Town has been experiencing Stage 1 loadshedding since Eskom reintroduced loadshedding on Wednesday.
Eskom unexpectedly introduced Stage 2 loadshedding on Wednesday and then on Friday morning after a major setback at the Medupi power station in Limpopo the power utility was forced to continue with Stage 2 after announcing on Thursday evening that Stage 1 would be implemented.
Cape Town has been one of the only places in South Africa to avoid Stage 2 load shedding this week, thanks to the spare generation capacity from the Steenbras dam.
Being the only city in the country that has a dam with hydropower, City supplied customers have been subjected to only Stage 1 load shedding.
However, according to mayoral committee member for energy Phindile Maxiti, planned maintenance of the Steenbras dam plant starts from next week and is expected to continue until May 2020.
The necessary maintenance was planned for this period as electricity usage is lower at this time of the year, which would ideally have had a minimal impact on City supplied customers.
Maxiti said should load shedding continue in the weeks and months ahead, the City will be unable to assist its customers with additional generation capacity.
The City insists it is vital for the national government to open up the electricity generation environment, if cities are to be able to reduce carbon emissions and if the security of the power supply is to be achieved.
Bonginkosi Madikizela, the DA Western Cape leader, said the City of Cape Town has demonstrated that there are alternatives to producing power. Through the Steenbras hydro-electric power scheme, the City is able to build up additional capacity.
Madikizela said the monopoly Eskom holds over energy in our country is a major part of the problem there is no competition to keep them accountable.
The DA Western Cape leader said because of this monopoly, with no prior notice Eskom has cut the power leaving thousands of students unable to write their final exams, preventing small businesses from operating and sending families into a frenzy to plan for the inevitable moment when the lights go out.
More: Cape Times