Matriculants will not be affected by loadshedding during their examination period, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said on Monday. As nationwide load shedding kicked off on Sunday, the Eskom has reassured that most power outages will occur during the evening. The department said it was satisfied that loadshedding will have no dire impact on this year’s matriculants during their examination period.
“We were informed that currently loadshedding has been suspended for this week and if it does happen, it will happen during the day when most of the learners are at school,” says Jessica Shelver, the spokesperson for the provincial education MEC Debbie Schafer.
However, there are concerns that although there are no examinations that require the use of electricity during this week, the outages might have dire consequences on the conditions the matriculants need to study in.
“Fortunately there are no NSC examinations taking place this week that are dependent on electricity. The planned load shedding could however have an effect on Grade 12 learners that need electricity to study,” says Shelver.
Although the department has advised principals of all schools to advise learners of alternative transport arrangements learners are recommended to take extra precautions to ensure they will reach their examination venue on time if any further load-shedding occurs.
“We appeal to all Grade 12 learners to be mindful of the fact that public transport could also be affected by the load shedding and ensure that they leave home earlier so as to make up for any possible delays,” says Shelver.
Eskom confirmed that there will be no load shedding initiated during Monday and possibly for the rest of the week. In the event of any failures of their power systems, most outages will occur during the evening.
“We don’t foresee outages happening during the day, as the risks are higher at night,” says Eskom acting-general Sikelela Mkhabela.
He guaranteed that there will be no surprises for consumers as they will be notified in advance, adding that load-shedding follows a schedule.
“The risk is not during the day but a higher risk during the evening. If there are outages it will occur between 5:30pm and 8:30pm,” says Mkhabela.
However, there are no guarantees that everything will be operating smoothly at the powers station in Majuba where the silo wall collapsed causing an exhausted power system resulting in outages.
“There is a possibility of outages in the future if certain things happen and do go wrong but we cannot foresee it,” says Mkhabela. VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)