NMU spends R55,000 a day to keep the lights on

Nelson Mandela University. File photo
Nelson Mandela University. File photo
Image: Nelson Mandela University / Facebook

Nelson Mandela University (NMU) is spending R55,000 a day to keep the lights on since stage 4 load-shedding was announced last week.

In a statement, the university said much like many South Africans, it also did not anticipate the escalation of load-shedding.

“As such, the university has seen a marked increase in the use of its generators as a means to mitigate the potentially crippling effects of load-shedding.”

The university has 21 generators across its seven campuses, which can power nearly 50% of the institution’s infrastructure.

About 14,000l of diesel was bought and stored on campus for use when necessary, with the generators refuelled using a 1,000l bowser tank.

“Prior to the implementation of load-shedding, the fuel was only used to run the generators for maintenance purposes weekly.”

This means that about 100l of diesel were used and the remainder kept for emergencies.

Since the implementation of stage 4 load-shedding, which has seen the university without Eskom power for up to 13 hours daily, about 4,000l – or R55,000 worth – of diesel is used daily.

“The university is thus experiencing some challenges with the provision of generator power as diesel is being used up at a much faster rate, and there is not enough time between the bouts of load-shedding to refuel.”

Another challenge facing the university is that diesel can only be ordered in bulk (14,000l at a time) and it often takes a couple of days for the order to be delivered.

The statement was posted to the university’s Facebook page with comments from students calling for the recess to be increased to cut down on the costs.

Eskom on Tuesday denied reports that it was planning to increase load-shedding to stage 5 and 6 levels.

But energy expert Ted Blom said: “Eskom is lying to us. They said at their press briefing‚ with the minister in the room‚ that on Monday we dropped 4‚900MW.

“Now if you follow their definitions‚ that’s stage five‚” Blom said in an interview with eNCA.

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