Eskom has been warning that demand will exceed supply this year and are trying to avoid the blackouts that plagued South Africa during 2008.
“Eskom has instructed us to reduce our power consumption and we have to comply” said Themba Lightbulbi from the Jeffreys Bay Municipality.
“Municipalities all over South Africa have received similar instructions, so we are not sitting alone with this problem” he added.
However, the plan to reduce power usage in Jeffreys Bay has been met with outrage by community organisations.
The Municipality has proposed that power blackouts will be applied to Ocean View, Tokyo Sexwale and Pellsrus from 8 am until 5 pm on weekdays and Wavecrest will experience power blackouts from 7 am Saturday mornings until 7 am on Monday mornings.
“We believe that this is a fair and equitable way to share the reduced power Jeffreys Bay will receive from Eskom over the winter months,” said Mr. Lightbulbi.
“During the week most of our people in the townships are at work so we do not need the power during those times, while the Wavecrest people like to braai on the weekends so that’s when they do not need electricity” he added.
Community organisations in Wavecrest have warned that the bizarre ruling by the Municipality will lead to an increase of crime in the suburb as well as a further decrease in house prices as nobody will want to live in the suburb.
However, Mr. Lightbulbi said that the distribution of power was fair towards everybody.
“It is the same people who moan and groan all the time. It is the same people who say they don’t want a nuclear power plant at Thyspunt but they still want to put on their lights whenever they want to. They cannot have their cake buttered on both sides and to have their bread and eat it.”
“I am sick and tired of their complaints and we will not listen to them anymore. If they don’t like it, they are free to move somewhere else as there is no much thing as a ‘dompas’ in South Africa anymore,” said Lighbulbi.
The power cuts will start on 1 April and will be reviewed by the JBay Municipality at the end of April.