- City Power has taken over loadshedding operations in Johannesburg and some other Gauteng areas from Eskom effective today.
- The new loadshedding schedule comes with significant changes at higher stages of power cuts.
- From Stage 5 expect more frequent, shorter outages with up to six times a day at Stage 8.
Significant changes are in the cards for residents of Johannesburg in how and when they use electricity as City Power’s loadshedding schedule comes into effect today, 6th November 2023.
Eskom, South Africa’s energy utility, handed over loadshedding operations to Johannesburg’s electricity infrastructure firm City Power after an announcement on 30th October 2023.
The handover will see City Power now operate loadshedding in most of its supply areas across Johannesburg and Gauteng, and will mean “changes to the loadshedding blocks which will affect the schedule in areas loadshed by City Power,” according to an announcement, posted to X.
Apart from shifts of hourly outages, one of the biggest changes is the reduction of the length of blackouts during higher loadshedding stages, such as Stage 5, 6, 7, and 8.
Under Eskom, these stages brought an occasional four-hour loadshedding block, culminating in Stage 8 which means three four-hour outages a day.
However, these four-hour loadshedding blocks wreak havoc on electricity infrastructure, according to City Power on numerous occasions. This often led to extended periods without power for customers after four-hour outages due to failures at ailing substations. Often because the backup batteries that are used to kickstart the substations are not given enough time to recharge adequately.
To ensure that these extended outages and failures are kept at minimum, City Power has confirmed that higher loadshedding stages mean more frequent power outages instead of longer ones.
“Areas that are loadshed by City Power will remain on a two-hour schedule even during stages 5 and above for loadshedding,” the company said.
So what does that look like?
According to leading loadshedding tracker EskomSePush, the new City Power Stage 8 will feature six different outages during the day, for a combined 12 hours without power with a two hour break between loadshedding. Under Eskom, there would have been less outages but for longer periods.
While Stage 8 has never officially been implemented by Eskom, and the likelihood of it being implemented in the near future is low taking into account recent improvements in energy generation, it does give an example of how the blocks will work as the same pattern stands for Stages 7, 6, and 5.
At higher stages there will still be a large amount of time without power, especially with the two hour breaks between outages, but it should keep substation breakdowns and failures at a minimum, which means that at least the power will return for the two-hour breaks between outages.
This change affects all areas in Gauteng, and specifically in Johannesburg that are overseen by City Power, with the exceptions of Tshepisong, Lufhereng, Hoogland, Maroelada, Morningside, RIverclub, Dainfern, Bloubosrand, Waterford Estate, Riverbend, Kyasands, Bellairspark, Halfway House, Halfway Gardens, Vorna Valley, Willowway, and Marboro Transit Camp.
City Power says it will continue engaging with Eskom to see if it can also take over the loadshedding operations of these areas in the future.
If you are a Johannesburg resident and want to keep abreast of the new outages plan, we recommend checking EskomSePush. If you are an existing user, you may want to “reset” your loadshedding area to receive the updated schedule. Learn more about that here.