Eskom implements shock load shedding: do’s and dont’s…

Eskom has declared a power system emergency and implemented load shedding.

The City of Cape Town advises residents that it is able to operate the schedule as before, and avert low levels of load shedding if consumption remains low. Residents are however advised to be prepared for periods without power.

Due to spare generation capacity available at the Steenbras pumped storage scheme at the time, residents of Cape Town were spared the first two blocks of outages, between noon and 2pm, and 2pm and 4pm, as these were applicable to off-peak times. But when consumption increases during peak periods it is likely that power will need to be conserved.

Residents are advised to familiarise themselves with the schedule on the City’s website and to prepare accordingly.

“We are entirely dependent on Eskom informing us of what their generation capacity will be so we are at this point unable to provide residents with more detailed information on what to expect. However, we believe that there is a risk that load shedding will continue to be implemented throughout the next week,” said the Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services; and energy, Xanthea Limberg.

“We ask that residents please do everything possible to keep consumption to a minimum. We are especially grateful for the power generated by the Steenbras pumped storage scheme as it allowed our Muslim residents to celebrate Eid without having to sit down to a cold lunch,” she said.

“We ask that residents please do not phone the call centre about power outage unless more than 30 minutes has passed beyond the scheduled period for their area, as this will overload the staff.”

Preparing for an outage

Charge your phone

Fill your tank – petrol station pumps don’t work during outages

Have some cash handy as ATMs won’t work

Switch electric garage doors and security gates to manual

Make sure you have torches, batteries, candles and matches, and put them somewhere where they can be found in the dark

Keep boiled water in a thermos flask for hot drinks

Outage tips

Switch off and unplug all electronics and appliances when the power is due to go off as it may come back with a spike in the voltage, which can damage electronic devices

If your electricity remains off for longer than the period specified in the schedule, SMS the City’s technical operations centre on 31220. Visit for information.