Load-shedding leaves 15 areas in darkness
MBABANE – Residents have already begun to feel the effects of load-shedding as 15 locations experienced blackouts yesterday.
These include Ngwane Park and Lwandle in Manzini, Dalriach and Fonteyn in Mbabane.
Sifiso Dhlamini, Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) Corporate Communications Manager, said this was a means to lower national consumption of power by 20 megawatts as requested by South Africa’s power utility plant Eskom.
He said the blackouts are meant to last for an hour, but it was important that residents switched-off their geysers and heaters in order to keep the power load low.
"We are able to detect from our computers when the load is heavy. So we monitor that and then decide if it is necessary to load-shed. We will soon give a full schedule of times and places when load shedding will occur countrywide," he said.
Meanwhile, government has approved SEC’s hourly load-shedding process.
SEC started load-shedding on Monday following the heightened demand for electricity in the country because of the cold spell that has been experienced from Sunday. Eskom in South Africa had also underestimated the demand influenced by the weather.
Princess Tsandzile, Minister of Natural Resource and Energy stated: "SEC acknowledges that it cannot achieve this target alone and needs a concerted effort and participation of the corporate sector, government and every Swazi to use energy efficiently and save up during these times."
She added that SEC will be proactive in educating customers and informing the public on demand management methods and load-shedding.
No backup for Manzini traffic lights
MBABANE – There is no backup plan for Manzini City traffic lights to cope with blackouts.
This was revealed by the city council’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mathokoza Thwala, when questioned about the preparedness of the council in dealing with load-shedding.
"There is no backup plan for our traffic, street and high mast lights, so we fully rely on SEC for power. We have no strategy in place to deal with the situation as yet because we’ve had no correspondence from SEC on this matter," said Thwala.
The PRO explained that in the past when there was load-shedding, SEC would inform the council which sections of the city would be dark.
He said in such situations motorists had to use the four-way stop rule, which is giving way to each other at a time.
This will most likely be done with the new load-shedding periods having started again.
Police to intensify patrols
MBABANE - Police will intensify patrols in areas where there is load-shedding.
Police Deputy Public Relations Officer (PRO), Assistant Superintendent Stephen Dlamini, said this was to make areas safer in case there were those who wanted to take advantage of the blackouts.
This is in the wake of the rotational switching off of power-lines across the country’s four regions by the Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC).
The police deputy PRO said they were aware of the load-shedding and would take corresponding action.
"We will strengthen patrols in areas where power has been switched off. We will liaise with SEC to know when and where there would be blackouts," said Dlamini.
He further stressed the importance of taking all the precautionary measures for people to be in a safer position in their home, like ensuring that all doors and burglar bar doors are locked.
The SEC should reduce the tariffs if they want this load shedding thing to be successful. Why should we pay even for hours when we don't have electricity? It doesn't make sense!
May 23, 2012, 4:31 AM, Lobusika Dlamini
It is so unreasonable for the Electricity company to cut off electricity supply at a time when most citizens are at home and preparing meals, rather they do it during day time when we are at work and school, since it unbearably touches on our livelihood during the evening hours, we cant make food and stay in the dark for prolonged periods with our children unable to focus on their studies coz of the darkness and hunger. They should kindly consider the consumers as their customers first before taking their decisions. Maye siyasha!!!!!!
May 23, 2012, 11:07 AM, Stylengz
I would suggest SEC embark or invest in demand management campaigns, strategies and plan for such worst case scenarios in advance. There is lot of strategies out there please explore, we are also open for such consultation if need be....otherwise this is brutality at its best and I don't think it does any good on your clientele loyalty and am sure you need their support on such situations from experience.....
May 23, 2012, 2:41 PM, Swazi enthusiast (Wisesmag@hotmail.com)
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