The national power grid has been taking strain since yesterday, with Eskom increasing the status of load shedding up to 3a – the most severe being stage 3B, so we are a mere letter away from a rather serious problem.

At the moment we are sitting (un)pretty at Stage 2. Apart from it being a terrific excuse to braai, the City of Cape Town have formally issued measures to minimise load-shedding:

– Ensure that your cellphone is always fully charged when power is available.
– Ensure that your vehicle always has fuel in the tank since during power outages, petrol stations cannot pump fuel.
– Ensure that you have adequate cash as auto tellers cannot operate without electricity.
– Release automatic electric garage door mechanisms to allow you to gain access to your property during a power outage.
– Release electric security gates and switch to manual operation to avoid either being locked out or locked into your home.
– Keep temporary lighting, such as candles and electric torches readily available.
– Keep a torch (with fresh batteries) by your bedside at all times
– Obtain a small LP gas lamp, as they provide good quality lighting for a large area.
– Boil water and keep in hot water flasks for hot drinks for when the power is scheduled to be switched off.
– Use a thermal cover on tea pots and other pots and pans to keep hot drinks, soup and other hot meals warm.
– Prepare meals beforehand in readiness for periods when there will be power cuts.
– Obtain a stand-by bottled LP gas heating ring for essential cooking and to boil water for hot beverages.
– Keep adequate stocks of essential foodstuffs that do not need to be refrigerated.
– Keep refrigerator doors closed, as a power outage of up to four hours should not cause food spoilage, and a freezer should keep frozen food safe for at least a day.
– Most medication requiring refrigeration can be kept in a closed fridge for several hours without spoiling. To be sure about this, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
– Fill plastic containers with water, leaving some space inside each container for expansion during freezing in a deep-freeze or the freezer compartment of your fridge. This frozen water will help keep food cold during a power outage.

Here is the latest interactive load shedding map, as issued by the City. Use the tools on the map to increase the size for scrolling. Read more on the CoCT website here.

Cape Town Load Shedding Schedule 2015

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