Twelve-hour blackouts on the cards for BCM

BCM will likely ramp up load-shedding to stage 4 and stage 8 from next month.
Image: 123rf.com/Prapan Ngawkeaw

Buffalo City Metro residents may have to brace for up to 12 hours a day without electricity, as the city will likely ramp up load-shedding to stage 4 and stage 8 from next month.

Municipalities around the country have been advised to review their current practices and adjust the load-shedding schedule from stages 1 to 3 upwards to include all the stages to 8, BCM said on its official municipal Facebook page on Friday.

On Sunday, acting municipal spokesperson Bathandwa Diamond told DispatchLIVE the move from stages 4 to 8 was due to the approval of the revised new government standard known as NRS 048-9, which has been implemented to organise the way the rolling mass blackouts are implemented during periods of supply incapacity and the handling of critical loads by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa).

Though she could not provide DispatchLIVE with information on when the hikes would be, Diamond said, “BCM has been working on the new schedules and will issue them soon”.

The highest-decision making body, the council, has not yet giving the plan the thumbs-up. The matter has yet to go to council, where it is expected to be discussed.

Once implemented, residents — already bearing the brunt of unpredictable blackouts — will have to do without electricity for 12 hours.

In one of two posts, the municipality said rolling blackouts were a controlled way to make sure the national power grid remained stable enough to avoid a total countrywide blackout.

“The higher the load-shedding stage, the more frequently residents will experience load-shedding. Should the country and municipalities reach stage 8, customers will have electricity for 50% of the day.

“Consumers are advised that the current schedule stages 1 to 3 will remain in place until February 1 2020, unless the country moves above stage 4 at any time sooner, which will result in the new schedule V5, stages 1 to 8 being implemented and remaining.”

Updates on these would be provided as and when they happened, depending on the load-shedding stage the country was in, BCM said.

Read more of the story on DispatchLIVE

BY: BHONGO JACOB

SOURCE: DISPATCHLIVE

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