Joburg businesses can breathe a sigh of relief amid load shedding devastation
The City of Johannesburg has revealed that load shedding hours will be reduced through a new schedule to be implemented by City Power.
The new schedule should offer homes and businesses some reprieve from load shedding as the power utility is currently working toward a new load shedding schedule which will see four-hour outages reduced by two hours until Stage 8.
According to City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava, the new schedule will reduce the frequency of outages, and blocks would not have outages at the same time for the same stage on consecutive days.
"In simple terms, our customers will be on for longer than it is now, especially in lower stages and the design of the new schedule ensures that in a four or five-day Stage 1 or 2 load shedding schedule, a customer may have one outage per day.
A block is scheduled in a zig-zag fashion alternating between lower and higher stages in the 24-hour period and this reduces the frequency in comparison to the current load shedding schedule, given that it is 16 blocks, 2 hours per time slot in 24 hours and 31 days, the algorithm is designed like a square to ensure fairness to all blocks," Mashava said.
While certain services and businesses will be exempt from load shedding in what the municipality says is an "effort to protect livelihoods" and attract investment into Johannesburg, environment infrastructure services MMC, Jack Sekwaila said that relief would be gradually implemented from June 2023.
"The City has the responsibility to attract investments, retain those already operating within Joburg, and secure jobs for our residents and this has not been possible with the relentless load shedding that has heavily impacted the economic activity within the City, leading to some businesses closing down while others emigrated to other provinces where reliable electricity supply is guaranteed," Sekwaila said.
The new load shedding schedule design also ensures that customers will have a two-hour reprieve between outages and that the maximum period a block can be switched off in 24 hours is 12 hours in higher stages like Stage 8.