Power cuts are becoming part of everyday life

Electricity is extremely helpful in our everyday lives, but sometimes it can go wrong and we are left with a power failure. It is important to know what to do and what to look for when this happens, as power cuts increasingly become part of our everyday life. These nationwide blackouts could result in a power crisis, which affect not only homes and traffic, but also businesses and could result in losses of millions of rands for residents and business owners.

The current power failures in South Africa are because of a coincidence of higher than expected demand and a series of equipment failures, shutdowns for maintenance of the country's ageing power infrastructure. The problem can also be caused by a lightning storm, a problem with the power lines in your area, vandalism or an accident in the substation servicing your area. When a power failure affects all the houses in your area it is usually due to a problem with the main power supply or load shedding.

At a recent address to the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers, Eskom’s Chief Executive, Mr Jacob Maroga said that more unplanned power failures, interruptions and load shedding could be expected for the next five to eight years. He said things should only start improving in 2012 once the new power station is online.