Up until recently I had no idea why the area I reside in doesn’t get hit with loadshedding. It seems that Newlands is exempt from it, and I’ve been curious as to why we should be so lucky.

A bunch of theories emerged about this, ranging from it being an athletic stone’s throw away from the President’s Cape Town residence of Genanendal, to the area’s ageing power grid being too delicate to switch on and off too often.

As it turns out, the area falls under regulation NRS048-9 by the City of Cape Town. As quoted by a city official on Mybroadband, this regulation ‘identifies the following criteria for the implementation of load-shedding: the safety of people, the environment, the potential damage to plants associated with a critical national product (for example wastewater treatment works) and technical constraints on executing load shedding and curtailment or restoration.’

It was also quoted that ‘this is the national standard for load-shedding and deals with the appropriate treatment of critical loads and the essential load requirements of various customers’.

Aside from hospitals, the following are deemed regulation NRS048-9 areas:

  • Bellville CBD – includes two state hospitals, Telkom international data centre, eye hospital and two private hospitals
  • Tyger Valley, Cape Gate and Willow Bridge – load curtailment customers as per NRS048-9
  • Claremont Central Business District
  • Newlands Control Centre – load-shedding switching centre
  • Newlands Cricket Stadium – during fixtures October to Jan/Feb
  • Newlands Rugby Stadium – during fixtures March/April to Sept/Oct
  • SAB Miller – load curtailment customer as per NRS048-9
  • Cape Town CBD – major central business district, Sommerset and Christiaan Barnard Hospitals
  • Mitchells Plain – Town Centre, Promenade, SAPS, Courts
  • Tamboerskloof, parts of CBD – High Court (8 am – 4 pm), Cable Car High Season and windy days

So to draw a conclusion based on the list above, Newlands is the area listed most often on the NRS048-9 customer list and is therefore the least load-shedded area in Cape Town. Yes, it’s pretty much cast in a shadow from the early afternoon but at least you’ve got reliable lights to work against the shadow.

Interesting to see SAB Miller there, obviously to prevent a a national beer shortage catastrophe from happening. Money talks I guess.

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