Cape Town Load-Shedding Schedules 2014


Load-shedding is back and it is already happening in Cape Town:

This is the first time the City has experienced Level 3 shedding, and according to Eskom, it’s likely that load-shedding – due to ongoing supply problems and exacerbated by the bad weather up north – will continue through into the weekend.

If you’re in Cape Town, here is the City page with the load-shedding schedules.

*NOTE that this is the schedule for Stage 2 load shedding. i.e. it will be this, PLUS SOME MORE. The City does not appear to have a Stage 3 schedule available at the moment.

Yes, I know it reads 2013, but it’s apparently still in force.

Meanwhile: if you are elsewhere and supplied (or not supplied, I suppose) directly by Eskom, you will need to visit THIS PAGE.


The City has given us this update, although at the time of posting, their website is down – no electricity or too much… er… load?

The City of Cape Town was informed this morning by the National Eskom Control Centre that they are initiating and have already started implementing Stage 3 load shedding. Stage 3 is the highest level of load shedding possible.

Click here for a list of the main stations, and for a list of suburbs and times that are scheduled for load shedding, click here. The City will keep residents and business informed of any updates.

If those links above aren’t working, I have saved those Main Stations and Suburbs and Times sheets on here too.


A couple of weeks ago, Eskom warned us that we were once teetering on the edge of load-shedding (aka “rolling blackouts”) and that we must try to save as much electricity as possible to prevent this. People see this as counter-intuitive coming from the people who generate our electricity and therefore make more money when we use it, but it’s nothing unusual: I was brought up with YEB doing roadshows at our school telling us to use less electricity, so let’s forget the exceptionalism, shall we?

Anyway, it was a reminder to up our power saving and in turn, it reminded me that I never updated you lot on how my Geyserwise installation had worked out.

Geyserwise is a timer that lets you decide when and to what temperature you choose to heat your water for use in the house. This might seem like a bit of a no-brainer for those overseas, but that fact is that most South African households (who have geysers) leave them on 24/7. And it’s a pain to remember to switch it off on your distribution board or to climb into your loft to alter the temperature on the thermostat.

Now, instead of our geyser being on 24/7 (or when I remembered to switch it on/off), it’s on for less than an hour each day. Instead of being set to 65°C, it’s set to 50°C. And wow – what a difference to our electricity bill.

That bill has come down by around 45%, which means that rather than paying for itself in the 3 months I was hoping, the unit started saving us money within 6 weeks. We’ve fiddled with it very slightly – just altering the times a little to suit us better and taking the temperature down a little more – but I cannot fault the unit or its effect.

If you’re reading this and have been considering getting one of these, just do it.

Those contact details again: Leon at Geysol (076 036 0623).

This is not a sponsored post.

City releases 2012 Load Shedding Schedules

…and inevitably causes widespread panic and discontent.

As is their wont, in fact, since Eskom is currently struggling with huge demand and very limited supply. This is probably down mainly to the ridiculous heatwave that has crossed the country and the increased use of air-conditioning – especially in office buildings and the like – as people return to work after the summer break.

Thus, a little bit of forethought before you needlessly waste power would be nice. Because we all know the alternative:

Emergency loadshedding is a controlled way of managing available electricity distribution capacity when an unscheduled power shortage occurs.

The electricity loadshedding schedules for 2012 are now available. The schedules are indicative and would only be utilised in the event of national load-shedding being required by Eskom.

Customers are asked to switch off any unnecessary appliances in order to minimise or avoid this event.

The full list of loadshedding schedules is available in PDF here. Alternatively, you can go to the City website here and select from a detailed but limited list of suburbs to get a detailed map of the different areas and times.

And I’ll just write this bit again, in bold:

The schedules are indicative and would only be utilised in the event of national load-shedding being required by Eskom.

Even though no-one will pay any attention to it.

No boom boom

After the recent events in Japan – most notably the er… “issues” at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility following the earthquake – the public in Cape Town and surrounds has been warned not to panic if they see steam apparently leaking from the Koeberg Power Station just up the road from the city.

The public are advised not to be alarmed at steam issuing from the Koeberg nuclear power station during the next few days.

“Given the events in Japan, we want to assure the public that perfectly clean steam will issue from next to the reactor during the routine shutdown,” spokesman Tony Stott says.

He says that this was part of the cool down process of unit two, which began on Monday at 1.30am.
The unit will take two to three days to cool down enough for it to be opened for workers to begin the refuelling, maintenance and inspections.

Stott went on to say that the shutdown would last around 55 days, during which Unit One would continue to operate at full power.

Let’s hope that this operation goes off (poor choice of expression, sorry) better than the tests Eskom ran at the Duvha Power Station (not nuclear), where a turbo generator apparently malfunctioned during an overspeed test, exploded and caught fire in our own little homage to Fukushima. You only have to look at the photos to see that this was a very big bang. Eina.

This has effectively shut down (probably permanently) the 600MW facility at Duvha and with one of Koeberg’s 900MW reactors out of commission for a couple of months, there’s going to be a lot more pressure on a grid which was under a lot of pressure anyway.

So it looks like we must save electricity or once again face load-shedding.
Please help and do your bit, because no-one likes being loadshod.

South Africa’s electricity crisis

Woo. “Crisis”. There’s a strong word. But yes, that’s what it is.

It’s a complicated story, but it boils down to this: years of poor planning and underfunding, coupled with a healthily growing economy simply means that there isn’t enough electricity to go around. And therefore, in order to protect the national grid from damage through supplying electricity that’s not there and being hopelessly overloaded, Eskom, the national electricity supplier, has introduced load-shedding. This is a system whereby, when demand exceeds supply, they cut power to areas of the country so that the remaining areas can get on with life.

You can see the issues. Industries are in the middle of production runs, businesses are working on computers, residents are cooking dinner. And then – click. All is calm, all is bright. Apart from the bright bit, obviously. 
And you’re taken back to a previous time, before electricity had been harnessed and controlled. A wonderful age, with steam trains, gas-lamps and cheeky schoolboys playing with sticks and hoops and running across cobbled streets in front of horse-drawn carriages. Quaint, but actually bloody annoying.

There are upsides. Generator and candle sales have never been better. But they are the exception in this sorry tale. Businesses can’t cope, they’re losing money hand over fist. Householders complain, but except for the odd case*, it’s actually just an inconvenience. A culture of blame ensues – letters to the local press name and shame electricity wasting buildings and lament the fact that streetlights are left on during the day. Misinformation abounds. Eskom is a laughing stock and it just wouldn’t be South Africa if there was no racial issue in there somewhere:

We always had enough electricity when the whites were in power!

Yes. Of course you did. That’s because outside investment in the country was virtually nil and the economy was held together with duct tape and a weekly prayer to the bloke upstairs.

There is an even darker side to this though (no pun intended). The past participle issue.
How do you describe, when complaining to your drinking buddies, the local paper or anyone who is still bothering to listen to your incessant and pointless whining, what happened when your power was cut yesterday afternoon? Were you load-shedded? Or load-shod?

I shouldn’t laugh, but it is funny when people are moaning. I understand their frustrations, but they start inventing new words. They think I’m making fun of their plight and slap me, which does temporarily halt my mirth, but only until their next use of “load-shod”.
“Load-shod” just sounds funny, while “load-shedded” is clumsy and doesn’t work.

But it’s ok – I can help you out. If you want to avoid these amusing or difficult phrases, just don’t tell me about it.
It’s symbiotic. You don’t get your tongue twisted, I get a nice peaceful morning in the dark. Lovely.

Look – I’m not saying that these power cuts are a good thing.
They aren’t. Power cuts are a bad thing.
Nor am I saying that you don’t have a right to be annoyed, irritated, frustrated.
Of course you do. It’s annoying, irritating and frustrating.
I think that what I’m saying is that since there is no light at the end of the tunnel – literally, it seems – just stop moaning – how does that help? Be a bit more proactive. Work around it as best you can. You’ll live. Really**.  

And never – never – use the word “load-shod” in front of me and expect me not to giggle.

* Standard hysterical over-exaggeration: “What about all those people on life-support systems at home?!?!?!”
** Terms and conditions apply. Like not being on a life-support system at home.