Cape Town avoids worst of Stage 4 load-shedding

Residents of Cape Town will not be subjected to the same severe load-shedding implemented across other parts of South Africa on Wednesday.

The City of Cape Town has stated it will protect its customers from Stage 4 load-shedding for most of the day due to additional generating capacity from its Steenbras pumped storage station.

While Stage 4 is currently in effect across all municipalities, the city will implement lower levels of load-shedding throughout Wednesday.

From 12:00 until 18:00 on Wednesday, it is implementing Stage 2 load-shedding.

After that, it will briefly switch to Stage 3 until 20:00, before returning to Stage 2 until 22:00.

It will then run Stage 4 load-shedding between 22:00 and 05:00.

The load-shedding schedule for Thursday will depend on generation capacity and usage.

Eskom-supplied areas like Khayelitsha, Bloubergstrand, Table View, Milnerton, Kuil’s River, and Eerste River will not benefit from the reprieve, and are under Stage 4.

The 160MW Steenbras facility uses electricity generated during off-peak periods, typically between 23:00 and 07:00, to pump water to an upper-storage reservoir.

The down-flowing water is then used to power a generator to supply additional electricity when required. In this way, it acts similar to battery storage.

Steenbras generally allows Cape Town to protect its customers from one stage of load-shedding.

When the rest of the country is on Stage 1 load-shedding, Cape Town does not have to implement rotational blackouts at all.

At Stage 2, it only needs to implement Stage 1 load-shedding.

Steenbras dam near Cape Town

Cape Town’s announcement comes after an embarrassing blunder by Johannesburg’s City Power this past weekend.

The metro was forced to backtrack on a claim that it would not have to implement Stage 2 load-shedding, as it had sufficient supply from the Kelvin private coal-fired power station.

Although the city had signed an agreement to purchase up to 220MW electricity from the station, Eskom explained that technical aspects still needed to be considered to determine whether Kelvin could be added to the national grid.

In addition, it remained to be confirmed whether Kelvin could partially or fully shield Johannesburg from load-shedding in the future.

Now read: South African Breweries saying goodbye to Eskom

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Cape Town avoids worst of Stage 4 load-shedding