Increased levels of load shedding are being monitored but are having an impact
Joint media release: Increased levels of load shedding are being monitored, but are having an impact on government services.
The Provincial Disaster Management Centre is receiving reports from municipalities in the Western Cape on the impact of load shedding on their ability to provide essential services. This information is used to plan for coordinated support where and when needed, Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning said today.
Premier Alan Winde has reminded residents, “There is no cause for panic. While this heightened load shedding is deeply unsettling and continues to test our patience, across our provincial departments we are closely monitoring the situation. The Western Cape Government is prepared on all fronts should stage 6 power cuts continue. Our contingency plans are continuously being updated and are intact should the situation unfortunately worsen.”
“The impact of load shedding on our economy is simply disastrous. Continuous blackouts compromise the ability of all businesses to operate, hitting small businesses the hardest. The fact is that we could have reduced load shedding by a whopping 96.5% in 2021, had 5 GW of renewable energy been brought online, as was planned but then compromised with the significant delay between bid window 4 and bid window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme. We must move with razor-sharp focus and determination to cut red tape related to bringing more Independent Power Producers (IPPs) online and create an enabling policy environment designed to help IPPs succeed, including incentivising the adoption of renewable energy,” said Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger.
“With the increased severity of power cuts, the Department of Local Government is currently aware of water challenges in Kannaland. The Garden Route District municipality is supporting Oudtshoorn Municipality with water tankers in Ladysmith and Dysselsdorp. The Matzikama and Swartland Municipalities have also reported technical issues with their water and sewage systems, and the Department is engaging them on these issues,” Bredell said.
Many municipalities have raised concerns about the increased cost of diesel, as they are anticipating long hours of backup generator usage. “The costs associated with load shedding keep piling up. We are concerned about water reservoirs that cannot fill up sufficiently, with subsequent pipe bursts due to uneven pressure in the pipe networks when normal levels are restored again. Sewage systems are designed for a constant flow of water, and interruptions due to load shedding can cause sewage blockages and spills,” Bredell said.
The provincial department of health is also monitoring where there are is a need to increase diesel supplies to health facilities for their generators. Maintenance teams have been advised to monitor diesel levels and where necessary top them up to handle the extended load shedding periods.
The increased level of load shedding is also having a significant impact on other provincial government services. The department of Social Development’s services are being greatly hampered by the national crisis of load-shedding, These blackouts impact safety at GBV shelters and DSD offices. Electronic gates, cameras, and locks stop working, posing a major risk to clients and staff. Load shedding compromises the provision of food at these facilities and administrative work. It also places an enormous strain on budgets, which are already buckling.
The provincial government will continue to closely monitor the impact of increased load shedding through the Provincial Disaster Management Centre and provide residents with regular updates.