Gauteng geysers to get remote-controlled switches

All household geysers in Gauteng will now have remote switches installed as part of energy saving in the province, provincial minister of local government Dorothy Mahlangu said at a media briefing on Monday.


“This will allow officials to switch off geysers rather than implement rolling blackouts; officials are going to ensure that everyone in the province gets the remote-controlled switches,” she said.


All fourteen of Gauteng’s municipalities have committed themselves to reducing their electricity usage by 10%.


“Municipalities have agreed on various ways to deal with [power cuts]. We have to look at immediate plans, medium plans and long-term plans,” she said.


Mahlangu said power cuts, as experienced nationally and especially in Gauteng as the country’s economic hub, were a challenge that needed a coordinated and integrated approach.


“We regard what is happening in Gauteng in particular as a development that we must all take responsibility for, rather than shifting blame to Eskom or municipalities.


“We must, however, take the opportunity of this challenge that has arisen to do our bit as different entities, institutions and individuals to save electricity,” she said.


She said municipalities would, however, exempt certain industries in their jurisdiction from power cuts, based on the importance of the industry to such municipalities.


Roslyn—north of Pretoria—was cited as an example as the Tshwane metro had exempted the industrial area from power cuts, based on its contribution to the economy of the municipality.


Mahlangu said another energy-saving strategy was to install solar-powered traffic lights.

“A final decision on the traffic light roll-out hasn’t yet been adopted, but local government is treating the matter as a priority.”


Mahlangu and Gauteng’s mayors also re-committed themselves to growing the province’s economy as well as meeting the 2012 target to electrify all Gauteng households.


Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo was also present at the briefing.


He said it was important to communicate “messages of hope” during load shedding.


eGoli Gas would speed up infrastructure to all households, and Eskom and City Power would provide better communication on load shedding and issue schedules, he said.—Sapa

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