With the country’s energy issues heading down a dreary path, stage 8 loadshedding might be a reality for South Africans. But, what will actually happen if the country goes into stage 8?
Energy analyst Ted Blom says: “We are certainly moving closer to a stage 8 total grid meltdown, the chances are more than 70%. And we will see level 6 load shedding before the end of the year.”
Stage 8 loadshedding means 8 000MW of energy would be pulled from the grid, leaving us without electricity for 12-14 hours a day.
According to News24, only a few provinces and municipalities have made contingency plans to keep the power on during severe loadshedding.
Also read: Loadshedding threatens City of Cape Town’s R800m investment
The plans also include the functioning of basic services and infrastructure during loadshedding. In the case of a total blackout, it would mean water, sewage and communication networks could continue to function.
Although there has been little to no guidance from the national government, the Western Cape has made a contingency plan that was developed independently.
Premier Alan Winde told News24 that the provincial government was working with other municipalities in the province to develop a resilience plan, and that “the plan focuses on the disaster response to prolonged loadshedding.”
Colin Dreiner, the head of the disaster risk centre in the Western Cape, says that the centre has emergency measures that include diesel availability to assist with generating power.
Also read: Let’s talk inverters as stage 7 loadshedding looms on the horizon
The City of Cape Town’s safety tips during loadshedding:
- Make sure you are familiar with your area’s schedule so you do not arrive home in darkness.
- Where intersections are affected, be vigilant for opportunistic crimes like smash and grab incidents.
- Do not drive alone, if possible, especially after dark.
- Ensure batteries for automated gates, garage doors and security systems are in good working order and store temporary lighting such as battery-powered torches, gas lamps and candles in places where they will be easy to find in the dark.
- Make sure your vehicle always has fuel in the tank as most petrol stations are unable to pump fuel during power outages.
- Traffic lights that are out and unmanned, should be treated as four-way stops at intersections.
- Safety around the home: ensure all non-essential appliances are switched off before load-shedding starts. Take extra care when using open flames or other heat sources for cooking or lighting. Ensure gates, windows and doors are secured.