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South Africa’s load shedding woes: Essential tips for coping

In response to ongoing challenges within Eskom’s generating units and the imperative need for maintenance, South Africa braces for heightened load shedding.

Eskom has announced the implementation of stage 2 load shedding from 5:00 on Monday, 18 March, until further notice, marking an escalation in power outages for the upcoming week.

The decision to intensify load shedding comes on the heels of the loss of two generating units within the past 24 hours, exacerbating an already strained situation.

Unplanned power outages surge as maintenance increases

Currently, unplanned outages account for a staggering 14 641MW of generating capacity, while planned maintenance activities have surged, with 7850MW of capacity out of service.

Acknowledging the severity of the situation, Eskom’s statement highlighted the concerted efforts of Power Station General Managers and their teams to expedite the restoration of additional generating capacity.

“Eskom Power Station General Managers and their teams are working diligently to ensure that additional generating capacity is recovered by bringing units on unplanned outages and planned maintenance back to service as soon as possible,” it said.

Tips to cope with load shedding

As South Africans prepare to navigate through this period of heightened load shedding, here are essential tips to enhance preparedness, according to the Western Cape Government:

  • Know your schedule: Familiarise yourself with your area’s load shedding schedule to plan activities around periods of electricity availability effectively.
  • Invest in rechargeable lights: Rechargeable lights offer a reliable source of illumination during outages. Keep them fully charged to ensure uninterrupted lighting.
  • Charge your devices: Maintain full battery levels on essential devices such as mobile phones and laptops. Power banks can extend battery life for prolonged outages.
  • Rechargeable power supply: Consider investing in a rechargeable power supply for computers and internet routers to maintain connectivity during outages.
  • Emergency supplies: Keep torches, candles, and matches easily accessible for emergency lighting needs.
  • Gas cooking: Opt for a gas bottle and cooking attachment to prepare meals when electricity is unavailable.
  • Stay informed: Remain updated on Eskom’s announcements and load shedding schedules through local news sources and official channels to adapt plans accordingly.

As load shedding intensifies, adhering to these preparedness tips becomes essential for South Africans to navigate through the disruptions effectively. It underscores the importance of proactive measures and contingency planning to mitigate the impact of power outages on daily life.

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