Eskom’s new daily electricity cuts explained

Eskom recently announced it will cut power to areas in Gauteng between 05:00 and 09:00 and 17:00 and 20:00 daily.

Eskom has not released a list of the areas which will get power cuts. Instead, the company said it has “identified areas with significantly high non-technical losses mainly in residential areas”.

The power utility said it continues to record a high energy demand during the peak periods of 05:00 to 09:00 and 17:00 to 20:00.

The new daily power cuts, the company said, will “safeguard its assets from repeated failure and explosions”.

These failures and explosions are a result of overloading caused by illegal connections, meter bypasses, and tampering with electricity infrastructure.

The implementation of the new daily power cuts will be done on a rotational basis, Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said.

In addition to the power cuts, Eskom will continue to conduct audits, remove illegal connections, and act against meter tampering.

Not a new form of load-shedding

Mantshantsha said this is not a new form of load-shedding as Eskom has excess generation capacity to cope with demand.

These power cuts are, instead, aimed at protecting Eskom’s infrastructure in high-density areas where people illegally connect to the grid.

“Eskom is spending a lot of time replacing this equipment, only to come back the next day and the transformer has blown up again because of illegal connections,” he said.

While many electricity users will experience the new power cuts in the same way as load-shedding, there is a technical difference as it is not implemented because of an electricity supply shortage.

He said the power cuts will affect everyone who lives in the high-density areas. This includes Soweto, informal settlements, and areas like Hillbrow.

Sikonathi Mantshantsha interview

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Eskom’s new daily electricity cuts explained