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JHB introduces ‘load limiting’ to combat blackouts

The initiative will first be tested in Aspen Hills, Gauteng, before being introduced to other areas.

FILE: City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau on Tuesday introduced a new initiative to mitigate the impact of load shedding in the city. Picture: Free Images

JOHANNESBURG - City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau on Tuesday introduced a new initiative to mitigate the impact of load shedding in the city.

The project called 'load limiting' will be rolled out at households with smart meters.

It will first be tested in Aspen Hills, Gauteng, before being introduced to other areas.

Tau said load shedding is having a serious impact on the city and he believes there are other options available to keep the lights on.

When Eskom indicates it needs to implement load shedding, Johannesburg residents with smart meters will be asked to reduce their load by between 10 and 20 percent.

It will require switching off geysers, stoves, television and pool pumps for a certain period to avoid having a complete power cut.

Through these measures, the city will reduce enough energy to ensure load shedding is not implemented.

STAGE TWO LOAD SHEDDING IMPLEMENTED

At the same time, Eskom has implemented stage two load shedding across the country until 10pm tonight.

The utility said it needs to maintain load shedding at stage two throughout the day to prevent the

system from going into an automatic shutdown.

It says this is due to equipment failing to come back online after maintenance at power stations over the weekend.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said, "We're doing everything that we can do so that we have to prevent a total blackout. A blackout is when the system automatically collapses. We have to take this precautionary measure of making sure we reduce the load."

The power utility said South Africa's power grid is heavily constrained and has warned that load shedding could be escalated to stage three at short notice.

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