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News24.com | Cape Town 'preparing for the worst' as load shedding persists - Geordin Hill-Lewis

1 month ago 7
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Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis

PHOTO: Brenton Geach, Gallo Images

  • The City of Cape Town is bracing for another wave of load shedding.
  • Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said they were "preparing for the worst". 
  • The City has been mainly able to shield residents from Stage 6 load shedding.

The City of Cape Town is bracing itself for more extended stages of load shedding as the country prepares for ongoing rolling blackouts this week.

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis told News24 they were "preparing for the worst".

He stressed:

Even though we hope and pray this does not happen. Let's be clear, it would be devastating for our country and very disruptive to basic services.

Last week, the City activated its transversal Disaster Operations Centre to mitigate any potential impact on residents.

READ | Stage 6 load shedding to resume on Monday afternoon, Eskom announces

It comes after Eskom announced that it had extended load shedding Stage 6 due to unprotected labour action, which has caused widespread disruption to Eskom's power plants.

The Disaster Operations Centre is coordinated by the City's Safety and Security Directorate and includes a wide range of City departments.

The City said a range of identified priorities were being dealt with, including ensuring maximum deployment in areas affected by prolonged power outages, redirecting enforcement and emergency service resources where necessary, and conducting point duty at major intersections affected by load shedding.

It added that all services were on standby to deal with public safety issues when nightfall sets in.

Hill-Lewis said:

We have activated our Disaster Management Ops Centre for Stage 6 – they are managing things now but also preparing for how to manage any escalation to Stage 7 or 8.

The City has not implemented Stage 6 load shedding and has instead kept residents on Stage 4, thanks to the Steenbras Hydro Pump Station.

The 180MW station is a pumped-storage scheme consisting of four turbines used to generate electricity.

Hill-Lewis said the City was also keeping a bit of spare capacity at Steenbras that wouldn't be deployed yet, in case there was an escalation.

With load shedding in full swing, the City has been placed on high alert to ensure public safety.

Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said: "Public safety is a concern, particularly with extended outages in Eskom supply areas.

"While the City is availing as many resources as possible, we appeal to residents to work with us by ensuring that their homes and personal property are secured, that they use alternative lighting and cooking devices safely and that they report any incidents to the relevant authorities as soon as possible."


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