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Kimberley Loadshedding FAQ

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Frequently asked questions and more detailed information on loadshedding in Kimberley and Sol Plaatje Municipal areas.
This is not an official Sol Plaatje Municipality page nor is it a Sol Plaatje fan page.  Obtaining official information on the technical workings of Loadshedding in Kimberley can be very difficult.  Available information is distributed with no quarters given to anyone.

The Sol Plaatje Electrical Department is headed and manned by dedicated staff.  They frequently work long hours at night and over weekends to restore and repair faults caused directly or indirectly by loadshedding.

This page is continuously being updated with new information on the workings of loadshedding in Our City.

Stage 1 - No hot water?

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On Stage 1 Sol Plaatje use ripple relay switches to turn of as many geysers as necessary to meet Eskom’s load reduction requirement.

If loadshedding is not active and  you do not have hot water, switch your geyser’s circuit breaker (trip switch) off in your DB Box for about 2 minutes, then turn it back on.  This can reset a stuck ripple relay switch.
If you still don’t have hot water report the problem to the Sol Plaatje Infrastructure Call Centre.

Ripple relay switching use old electro mechanical technology and for various reasons the signal may not always reach your equipment.  This may results in a geyser not being switched on or off when the signal is transmitted. If power is regularly not restored to your geyser after loadshedding there may be a site specific problem and you are advised to log a fault at the Sol Plaatje Municipality Call Centre

If your geysers circuit breaker is off in your DB and keeps tripping when you attempt to switch it back on it points to a faulty geyser thermostat or element.  Contact your local plumber, electrician or handyman for help.

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Stage 2 Switching - Why is my power not restored on time?

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On Stage 2 the Sol Plaatje Electrical Department is responsible to switch sub station areas on and off as per the Stage 2 Loadshedding Schedule.

There is no infrastructure in place to remotely switch areas on and off and the following procedure is followed.

The electrician drive to the substation which is scheduled to be switched off, unlock, update the log book, switch the area off, lock up and drive to the substation of the area to be restored.  There he unlock, switch the area back on, update the log book, and lock up.

If all goes well this process can take some time so allow up to 30 minutes after the time on the schedule for power to be restored.

Infrastructure Failures
Loadshedding puts an enormous strain on electrical infrastructure and frequently push equipment beyond breaking point.
When a substation is switched backup on multiple failures can occur. This includes anything from transformer explosions to cable shorts and trips in distribution boxes.
Under these circumstances restoration of power can take anything from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours.  But be assured, the Electrical Department is one of the best and most dedicated at Sol Plaatje and the electricians will not rest until faults has been resolved.

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Loadshedding is implemented unfairly / The schedule is biased

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Which ever Substation Area you look at there are those in the area who feels they are being disadvantaged.

Take a careful and objective look at the Complete Weekly Stage 2 Loadshedding Schedule for Kimberley Sol Plaatje Municipality and you will see that loadshedding is distributed fairly evenly over the different areas.

There was no dark secret motives when the schedules was compiled.  It was a task which needed to be done in short notice.  Load reduction requirement was assessed and also the logistical and technical issues.
The schedules are not perfect but taking also all variables and implications no loadshedding scheduled could be.

Ashburnham Area anomalies.
Ashburnham Substation is only one who have 2 slots twice a week, resulting in 9  slots a week where the other areas have only 8.

Hadison Park Area anomalies
Hadison Park Substation have 2 slots on a Saturday, and thus far during 2015 Saturdays has been the day on which 08:00 to 22:00 loadshedding has taken place most frequently.

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Why are some areas never switched off?

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On Stage 2 Loadshedding Sol Plaatje Municipality will as far as possible avoid switching off supply lines to key areas & infrastructure such as hospitals, water pumps and sanitation pumps
Even though hospitals do have generators the remote risk of a generator failure is not worth taking when ever it can be avoided.

There are a very small number of houses and business which by chance fall on the same supply lines, and are thus not shed on Stage 2.

While there are lots off speculation not one person thus far could provide ANY evidence of ANY area that is not being load shed due “VIPs” residing in the area or operating a business from that area.

On Stage 3 the whole town is shed even key areas.

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