Due to the ongoing Eskom-declared load-shedding, the performance and reliability of City of Tshwane electricity infrastructure is negatively affected as it is not designed to be switched off and on constantly.
When the electricity is switched back on after scheduled load-shedding, the electricity networks are exposed to high start-up currents and voltage spikes. This ageing and vulnerable equipment cannot consistently withstand these cumulative spikes, leading to frequent equipment failures and/or overload trips after scheduled load-shedding. The problem has been compounded by the unabated incidences of theft and vandalism of our cables across all seven regions of Tshwane.
Some of the consumers whose substations are vulnerable to load-shedding-imposed equipment failures and/or overloading conditions have suggested that they be excluded from load-shedding. While their request is understandable, unfortunately, load-shedding is a measure implemented by Eskom to prevent a national blackout when system conditions are such that the electricity demand cannot be met by the available system capacity. Therefore, it is not possible to exclude any area from load-shedding and we will not meet the required load reduction at certain periods of the day, which will lead to Eskom taking over our network operations at in-feed substations.
The good news is that the City received reasonable stock of cables and the regions are prioritising repair backlogs to stabilise the electricity supply by the end of next week. This will improve network redundancy and mitigate against most overload-related power trips. To further minimise overload-related power trips after scheduled load-shedding, consumers are requested and encouraged to do the following:
- Switch off all heavy-load appliances prior to the scheduled power restoration time to regulate the start-up current.
- Gradually energise the necessary appliances and avoid simultaneously switching on heavy-load appliances.
- Switch on non-essential appliances like geysers, air conditioners and pumps last when the system has stabilised.
Consumers are urged to adhere to the above measures to minimise the devastating impact of load-shedding on our electricity infrastructure.