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  • Writer's pictureRFS

Villiers load-shedding


Dear Mafube Residents

On Monday 17 July, RFS Management was made aware of a petition that was started in Villiers regarding the alleged increase in load-shedding by Rural compared to Eskom.

On Tuesday 18 July, two of our managers visited the initiator of the petition and some of the residents/business owners who supported the petition. The purpose of the visits was to enquire about the rationale of their concerns.

Of the 35 participants, 8 are family members or spouses and 6 seem to be fake accounts with no name or other information. As Villiers has +- 5,000 electricity users, it seems most users are happy with the current methodology that RFS applies.

From our engagements with the few, the following issues were raised:-

  1. The frequency of the load-shedding although shorter than Eskom, seems more.

  2. RFS is applying more load-shedding than Eskom;

  3. As the town is divided in 3 zones, Zone 1 & 2 are being load-shed more in order for the VKB Silos in Zone 3 to be exempted from load-shedding; and

  4. The Waterworks do not need that much power and is not always working.

As such we would like to address these concerns as follows.



Principles of load-shedding

Eskom announces (determines) load-shedding. Rural has to implement as per Eskom’s instructions. Rural therefore does not determine load-shedding.

The main difference between Eskom’s methodology and Rural’s



Eskom uses a 2 hour load-shedding window in a 31 day cycle.

Shorter load-shedding of 1.5 hours per stage per day, over a cycle.

The Eskom off time and RFS off time is the same.


What are the benefits to the community, with Rural’s methodology?

  1. Water and sanitation pumps running 24/7. There should be no reason for the interruption of water services.

  2. The network remains energized which reduces cable theft. If cable theft is prevented, further network downtime is reduced.

  3. More regular but shorter load-shedding periods for residential and business users.

    1. adheres to the survey results received from Mafube residential customers; and

    2. a better chance of maintaining fridge and geyser temperature; and

    3. better maintaining battery and UPS status for alarms, garage doors etc

    4. The battery life of electronic devices should last for the shorter period of load-shedding.

  4. Large Power Users can now apply for specific load-shedding solutions from Eskom for which NRS048-9 caters. In short, jobs are not lost.


General perceptions

  1. RFS load-shedding more than Eskom

    1. This is simply not true. The off times whether Eskom or RFS, is the same. RFS simply caters for the community’s needs and Eskom has to find a general solution which is not town specific.

  2. VKB Silos

    1. The Silos applied to Eskom to be part of their National load-curtailment programme whereby Eskom will inform these consumers to reduce their power usage daily over much longer periods of 8 hours each as and when needed.

    2. This is available only to large power users with their own dedicated feed (line).

    3. As such Villiers do not carry the load that needs to be shed if VKB has power as they are treated separately from the town and have no bearing on how much the town needs to reduce their load by.

  3. Villiers Waterworks

    1. Legislation dictates that essential services must stay on. This was however historically not done under the Eskom load-shedding as Eskom simply switched off whole towns (black box). RFS as such as far as possible will comply regardless of the historical practices. If the waterworks are not operational it is because of some other reason. The waterworks is always on.

  4. Local small business in Villiers closes due to RFS applied load-shedding

    1. RFS only started managing the nationally applied rotational load-shedding as of 7 July in Villiers. RFS cannot take responsibility for the national energy crises and implement load shedding. As stated above the more frequent but shorter intervals of load shedding should be rather beneficial to small businesses.

    2. Delegates met with an owner of a small business which regrettably had to close down. The owner informed the delegates that the reason for closing down is due to the current economic situation in Villiers and the country and Rural is not the reason they are closing.


Villiers Solar Development

Construction of Embedded generation (Solar farm) is scheduled to commence in August 2023 to help produce additional energy.

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