Surprise, surprise... Municipal load reduction is back

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GK CRONJE

27 April 2021

In a feeble attempt to sugarcoat the slew of outages, MLM claims that “load reduction will only commence once the system is strained.”

In a turn of events that is a shocking revelation to no resident of Ermelo, rotational load shedding, brought to you with compliments from Msukaligwa Local Municipality, has returned. With the air barely chilled, and winter peeking ever so slightly around the corner, Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM) has issued their schedules for the rotational load reduction. It was to be expected, as of late Ermelo has seen yet another bout of power outages, attributed to the 88kVA line.

The official party line purported by MLM claims that illegal connections are overloading the electrical grid, therefore necessitating rotational load reduction. Oddly, the claimed illegal connections had no impact on the grid for an extended period. More disturbing is the fact that Ermelo’s residents are in the exact same sinking boat as last year, and the year before, where MLM also implemented the rotational load reduction. Over this period, excuses have ranged from vandalism, illegal connections, reduction of supply from Eskom, and every other fathomable excuse in-between.

Many residents question the load reduction, and the fact that it is an entire financial year later, and MLM has yet again failed to address the issue that residents face on a daily basis. In their announcement of the rotational load reduction, MLM urged all residents and businesses to switch off electrical appliances during times of outage, to avoid damage from electrical surges when the electricity is restored.

In a feeble attempt to sugarcoat the slew of outages, MLM claims that “load reduction will only commence once the system is strained.” It should be noted that MLM has also indicated that technicians may enforce load reduction at any time “to protect the integrity of the grid”, a line leeched directly from Eskom statements, effectively rendering their own published schedule moot.