AUTHOR: Junaid Samodien
PHOTO CREDIT: ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
South Africans have been grappling with endless power cuts, after state owned Eskom implementing continuous blackouts for more than 200 days last year, and ever day so far in 2023.These ongoing power cuts, have added unique challenges to the way businesses, and events are run in the country.
Since these power cuts became a way of life in South Africa, the various municipalities formulated plans and processes to ensure that large scaled events remain unaffected by these rolling power cuts (code named: "loadshedding"). With thousands of people frequenting a specific area comes a number of safety and security risks for all concerned. Therefore, power cuts are usually ruled out for those specified precincts or areas.
Following the announcement of the ABB FIA Formula E Cape Town E-Prix, many fans instantly brought up the power cut issues. However, it's now safe to say that these fans can have some peace of mind, in knowing that the country’s power crisis will not compromise the event in any way, as back-up plans are place.
Speaking at the 30-Day Out media briefing on Thursday morning, the City of Cape Town’s Mayco Member for Safety and Security, J.P Smith, said: “With major events like this we do occasionally exempt precincts from load shedding, and we have been working with Formula E about this – but Formula E has made their own arrangement in this regard, while we are responsible for other logistics (such as safety and security) which are a massive amount of work behind the scenes.”
Iain Banner, chairperson of e-Movement, has been working closely with the City of Cape Town’s energy experts to ensure that they have a number of plans in place should the power cuts affect the inaugural event scheduled to take place on 25 February 2023.
Banner explains: “I’ve been working closely with the city’s Energy experts Kadri Nassiep and Michael Schmidt and we have structured a primary power plan for the majority of the precinct. We don’t only have to charge cars, we need to power the entire structure. We have a guaranteed supply up to Stage 6, but there is always a secondary system. This includes generators that run on bio-fuel that will ensure that we can provide the 2MW of instant power demand. With the help of our engineers and the Cape Town stadium team, on Tuesday (this week), we have also secured power from the Cape Town Stadium.”
“We cannot afford for cars not to run, and with the City’s help and our two back-up plans we will ensure that they do,” he concluded.
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