Sustained high level of load shedding that puts pressure on networks



As the country continues to experience exacerbated load shedding, deliberate power outages are having a significant negative impact on mobile network operators in South Africa.

While the industry has proactively spent billions of rand on backup power solutions for grid stability and continuity, customers are increasingly frustrated when they experience a drop in grid performance. network during higher download levels.

This is largely inevitable when power generation capacity is reduced to stage 4 and beyond, the grid provider said.

Billions in energy backups

Speaking in his capacity as president of the newly launched Association for Communications and Technology (ACT), Shameel Joosub said South Africa’s energy crisis continues to add pressure to an already fragile economy.

“In a given energy market, the massive amounts spent by grid operators on batteries, generators and diesel would be channeled into programs that deliver significantly better value to customers over the long term rather than simply keeping their grids running.”

“For example, these funds would have been better spent addressing the digital divide by accelerating rural coverage across the country and helping customers struggling to make ends meet due to rising inflationary pressures,” he said.

frustration

Joosub, who is also CEO of Vodacom Group, said that when the power goes out, many people turn to their devices for study, work or entertainment.

“When they don’t get the level of service they’re used to when there’s no download, customers turn to call centers and social media in frustration.”

To mitigate the effects of load shedding for customers, the grids are deploying 24-hour teams of technicians dedicated to monitoring and restoring power to sites and using logistics to secure mobile generators on site.

Additionally, grid operators have implemented tighter security and monitoring measures to protect sites from both battery and generator theft and vandalism, which exacerbate downtime issues.

Connectivity

Joosub added that connectivity is critical to sustainable technology and development as a nation.

“We need to work together as the public and private sectors to find solutions to South Africa’s national energy crisis. We also welcome the progress made in the rolling framework that seeks to encourage independent energy generation to use grids existing distribution or transmission.

Nomvuyiso Batyi, CEO of ACT, the effects of the download are far-reaching and will ultimately hinder any progress in inclusive digital transformation in the country and exacerbate the existing digital divide.

ACT has engaged with relevant stakeholders including the National Government through the National Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), the Association of Municipal Electricity Services (AMEU), regulators such as NERSA and Eskom to ensure that South Africa finds sustainable countermeasures to the impact of load shedding experienced by all,” he said.

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