Eskom will implement load reduction in Gauteng in order to avoid network overloading from 5pm until 10pm on Thursday.
Affected areas in Soweto are as follows: Chiawelo, Dlamini, Jabavu, Central Wester Jabavu, Jabulani, Klipspruit, Mofolo Central, Mofolo North, Mofolo South, Molapo, Moroka, Moroka North, Orlando Ekhaya, Orlando West, Pimville Zones 1-7, Pimville Zone 9 and Senaoane.
Affected areas in the West Rand are as follows: Chamdor, Kagiso, Rietvallei, Luipaardsvlei, Sinqobile, Witpoortjie, Vaal Evaton Central, Evaton North, Evaton Small Farms, Evaton West and Lakeside.
Affected areas in the Vaal include Evaton Central, Evaton North, Evaton Small Farms, Evaton West and Lakeside.
Why it’s not load-shedding
The national power utility has been careful to separate this practice from load-shedding, which it has assured South Africans will not be a major threat over the winter season.
Like load-shedding, load reduction involves the controlled restriction of the electricity supply. Also like load-shedding, it is implemented on a rotational basis and is dependant on demand.
The utility has explained while load-shedding is implemented to cope with a higher electricity demand than can be met by the national grid’s capacity, load reduction is implemented in targeted areas to safeguard Eskom’s infrastructure.
“Load reduction is an initiative aimed and protecting Eskom’s assets by reducing load during peak hours in the high-density residential areas of Gauteng, which have high incidences of illegal connections and overloading,” Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshansha said.
“These illegal connections and overloading, particularly where you have multiple households connecting through the main house, cause transformers and mini-substations to explode under the heavy unregulated weight.”
The areas targeted by Eskom’s load reduction initiative experience high levels of infrastructure failures due to illegal connections, which results in long power outages.