Last week saw the abrupt return of load shedding to the daily vocabulary of South Africans.

Load shedding is done to protect the national power system from tripping. For us at home that might mean just flicking a switch back on but according to Eskom it’s not as simple when it comes to a national grid.

“Many countries and cities in other parts of the world have experienced complete blackouts. To re-start their system, they are able to tap into a power system from a neighbour which can take a few hours or days, but we have to rely on ourselves to start the system from scratch – energising one power plant at a time and one section of the country at a time. It could take up to two weeks to restore full power, which would have a severe impact on our country! This is why we use load shedding, or load reduction, to effectively manage our power system and assist in protecting it from such an event,” reads an excerpt on the Eskom website.

So then, while load shedding is inconvenient, the alternative is that country is without power for two weeks. We don’t know about you but we’re willing to deal with a minimum of four hours a day without power to prevent that from happening.

That having been said, we’d ultimately prefer if there was no load shedding and Eskom could keep a handle on coal supplies and maintenance at its power plants.

If not now, when?

The first weekend of December 2018 has been marred by Stage 2 load shedding.

There’s no word on how long load shedding will stay with us but the outlook is rather grim.

As such it’s best to prepare for load shedding in a bid to lessen the blow of the lights going out unexpectedly.

We’ve scoured the local web for municipality websites that have load shedding schedules online for you to check. For those locals who receive their power bill directly from Eskom you can visit this website, key in your suburb and check the schedule.

For the municipalities that don’t have their schedules online you can contact them by giving them a call.

There are also a few apps we feel warrant mentioning.

The appropriately named, EskomSePush, sends notifications to your smartphone when load shedding is in effect and you can add multiple regions to the app so you can look out for friends and family as well. The app is free on Google Play and the App Store but does have advertising.

For iPhone users there is also the Load Shedding App and for Android users you can check out the Load Shedding Notifier.

We urge all of our readers to check the load shedding schedules and if your power goes out when it wasn’t meant to, contact your municipality.

 

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]