Eskom load shedding has a ripple effect on SA’s functionality

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The Limpopo Health Department says it fears that the ongoing load shedding could lead to the damage of some of its medical equipment at the Polokwane Provincial Hospital. The hospital’s five back-up generators have been maintaining power at the hospital since Eskom started to implement Stage 4 load shedding.

Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba says damage to any of the hospital’s machines could interfere with certain treatments.

“We have got five generators which for now they are able to cope in case of load shedding. Yes, we can do up to certain level because our equipment, you have linear accelerator for cancer patients. So, once there is a power cut, it also has an impact on the treatment that is provided to the patient, and we really need to be honest and say this is really not working well for us.”

President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Geoff Jacobs, says the ongoing load shedding is hurting local businesses in Cape Town. He says it is forcing businesses and municipalities to look for other sources of electricity supply.

Jacobs says the situation will also hurt struggling municipalities which rely on income from electricity to subsidise their costs and keep rate-paying commercial and industrial firms going.

He says if nothing is done to urgently resolve the electricity crisis, the situation will deepen.

“The present crisis is hurting business, municipalities and Eskom, businesses need electricity to survive. Eskom desperately needs more power to keep going, but instead, finds itself and its revenue going down while its costs increase, it has to use diesel which is expensive to keep its emergency gas turbines going.”

In Gauteng, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department has urged motorists to exercise caution on the roads as traffic lights in various parts of the city are off due to load shedding.

Officers have been deployed to some busy intersections.

“JMPD officers are currently directing traffic at most of the intersections in the Johannesburg CBD due to load shedding as some of the traffic lights are working and others not. Officers can be seen on Trump Street, Anderson Street, Eloff Street, Simmons Street and Maraisburg road, as well as Joe Slovo Drive and Carse O’Gowrie in Houghton,” says JMPD’s Wayne Minnaar.

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