Hoax Load Shedding Email
18 October, 2010
A hoax email is doing its rounds in the Durban area creating a panic response to impending load-shedding. EThekwini Municipality wants to re-assure its customers that this is currently not the case and commits to widely broadcasting any intention of load-shedding should the need arise.
Whilst the supply/demand situation in the country remains somewhat tight, eThekwini Electricity has had no request from the national supplier Eskom of its intention to implement load shedding. The current Load-Shedding Schedule is advertised on the official municipal website www.durban.gov.za and will ONLY be invoked in an emergency. EThekwini Municipality urges ALL customers to continue to contribute towards reducing unnecessary electrical usage to prevent the need to load-shed.
Eskom does require eThekwini Electricity (along with all South African supply authorities) to maintain a schedule which would be used to shed load in a controlled manner in the event of a loss of a large generator (or similar) and therefore the capacity to supply the load at that instant on the national grid.
Load shedding is in line with many other countries around the world to ensure that such a loss of capacity does not lead to cascading tripping of interconnected generators and, ultimately, a national blackout. Based on international experience, full restoration of supply after such a catastrophe would take weeks and economic recovery very much longer. At this stage, Eskom has stated that there is no intention to use load shedding in the way it was experienced in the early part of 2008 and, indeed, eThekwini Electricity has certainly not been required to use the load shedding schedule since then. Eskom has been able to satisfy the national load by its fleet of generators and, under abnormal circumstances, by contractual arrangements with large customers willing to reduce their own load when instructed.
By its nature, load shedding is likely to follow from an urgent request from Eskom and the block on the schedule at the time may have to be shed without public warning. However, once this has commenced, Urgent arrangements would be made to broadcast the facts as they are known such that customers can refer to the schedule. It needs to be repeated that the continued existence of a load shedding plan and schedule is simply prudent and good practice and there is no reason to raise public concern that this will be used in the near future.
Please visit the official municipal webpage http://www.durban.gov.za/durban/services/electricity for the latest information on load shedding or alternatively contact the toll-free customer care line on 080 1313111.