The Johannesburg Emergency Management Service has urged people to be cautious when using fires, candles and paraffin stoves. This as load shedding continues across the country amid the winter season, resulting in the use of equipment that could pose as a fire hazard.
EMS Spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi says they have seen an increase in emergencies.
“We are having increases in terms of emergencies that we have had to respond to, especially in our suburban areas, because most of the residents there use electricity and are not used to using things like candles and paraffin stoves and now we have this frequent load shedding.”
“We also want to encourage our residents in informal settlements that if they are using candles and paraffin stoves, they must not be used unsafely. Sometimes they use a beer bottle or cold drink bottle as a candle holder. Also, those using heaters, ensure you don’t leave it unattended while in use,” adds Mulaudzi.
Communities taking strain due to load shedding:
Eskom woes ‘will continue’
Independent Energy analyst Andrew Kenny says Eskom’s woes will continue unless the power utility takes drastic action to upgrade its ailing infrastructure.
Eskom implemented Stage Four load shedding on Wednesday afternoon and then placed the country on Stage Two load shedding. It has now implemented Stage Three load shedding.
The embattled power utility has cited additional breakdowns at the Medupi and Duvha Power Stations and the high demand during winter for the increased load shedding hours.
Kenny says infrastructure reparations will lead to long-term stability.
“The fact that Duvha used to be a workhorse, a very reliable power station, very important power station, not failing the whole time due to the lack of maintenance. And as for Medupi failing, this is a brand new power station, its failing already; it hardly started up and it is failing. What my predictions are that this is just going to carry on like this for five to ten years so we just better get used to it.”
Dr Jarrad Wright unpacks the severity of South Africa’s energy woes:
Load shedding having a negative impact on the economy
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) says the current load shedding cycle will have a further negative impact on the economy.
SACCI CEO Alan Mukoki says government is not doing enough to fix Eskom’s woes.
“It’s a really terrible problem that we are experiencing, especially as businesses had suffered around the COVID-19 situation, lockdowns, etc. So, it is a significant risk factor as it affected production, possibilities of investment because you don’t know what is going to happen and it is not clear that government has got its hands around the problem of Eskom. It’s been ten years now, or more, and it doesn’t look like government knows exactly what needs to be done.”