Notices of Special Interest
LOAD SHEDDING NOTIFICATIONS
Sharenet is a free project that uses precious developer time and computing resources for, and so we only cater for the major municipalities shown below. Although you may form part of a city in one of these 4 metropoles, you may receive your electricity directly from ESKOM as opposed to from the municipality concerned, in which case we cannot provide alerts for you. For a detailed background and how this service works, read this NEWS24.COM article.
Here is the link: www.sharenet.co.za/loadshedding/
NOTE: To ensure you don't get caught by surprise however, activate your 15 min warning emails from your control panel links as this requires far less emails to be sent out from our servers and at the very least you will have 10-15 min warning if you are the first to be load shed.
Below is a copy of a notification received by myself, as I subscribe to Sharenet and find it 99% accurate and on time, but, I have followed the steps required, which took a total of 10 minutes and now I am always prepared. You can also set more than one area for notification.
___ oOo ___ ___ oOo ___ ___ oOo ___
The load-shedding subscriber list is now very large and growing by 10,000 per day. We are no longer able to attend individually to your email queries. We don't have enough staff. Please read our Frequently Asked Questions page and the pointers below before emailing us directly. Don't expect replies any time soon as we are swamped. We have had a massive, unexpected response to the free load shedding service that has overwhelmed our email servers with all the email notifications required. You may notice the main alert notifying you of early warning of the start of national load shedding by ESKOM sometimes arrives too late in your email if you are unlucky to be the first to be load-shed on the schedule of your municipality. We have upgraded our email servers to resolve this issue and these upgrades are an ongoing process.
The Stage-2 warning sent out yesterday was done with an upgraded system that managed to get all emails out within 1 hour as opposed to the old system that took 3 hours. We expect to get this down to 30min with the addition of more email servers meaning that if ESKOM provide 1 hour advance warning of load-shedding, your emails should get to you at most 30 min before load shedding actually starts. To ensure you don't get caught by surprise however, activate your 15 min warning emails from your control panel links as this requires far less emails to be sent out from our servers and at the very least you will have 10-15min warning if you are the first to be load shed. IMPORTANT: Apart from the emails arriving late (which we are now dealing with), the biggest problem we have is people saying the actual load shedding is not matching the times we email them.
Our schedules have been audited and 100% match those of your municipality so if this happens then either you are in the incorrect zone, your sub-station is in an adjacent zone, or the municipality is not following the schedule. The council schedules are a guideline to determine which Block/Zone a customers' suburb is in and should be accurate under normal operating conditions. However, each customer can be fed from multiple substations, some of which could be in different Blocks/zones. Under fault or high load conditions, customers can be fed from alternative neighbouring substations, some of which may be in other Blocks/Zones.
Distribution substations are supplied from major substations by multiple circuits and it is possible that the source of supply could be changed for reasons outside of load shedding. While this does not happen often (and usually returned to the normal state after a period), it is possible that this would result in the customer being associated with a different block from time to time. The easiest way to determine your zone/block is to make a diligent note of the EXACT times you are being load-shed and then consulting the relevant municipality load shedding schedule to see what BLOCK/ZONES are being load shed at the same time as you.
This way you can determine what area you are. A single such comparison under Stage-1 load shedding will pinpoint your area, and you will require two such comparisons under stage 2 load shedding to do the required elimination to pinpoint which sub-station you are being delivered power from. You can go to your control panel link provided at the bottom of your emails to subscribe to multiple suburbs/zones if you wish, to assist you with this process. You can also phone your municipality load-shedding hotline with your address to determine your exact zone/block. The load shedding schedules and phone numbers for your respective municipality are in these links:
This may sound like a lot of effort, but it is a once-off and load shedding will be with us for the next few months at least AND IS LIKELY TO WORSEN and so you have to decide how important this is to you when considering investing the time and effort to discover the zones that work best for you, versus the benefit you will derive over the next 2 years.
Clearly, email will not scale into the millions so we are looking at some options for SMS (very expensive at R20c per SMS) or push-alerts to smartphones with a dedicated Notifier App for Android, IOS, Windows and Nokia. Please be patient. Until then we only cater for email. We ask you to treat this service as a social project in a pilot phase. Its new. We are all new to this. We have to deal with the complications of ESKOM and Municipalities changing the rules now and again as well as the issues associated with massively large subscriptions (running into millions) and their impact on our servers and bandwidth and human resources. We don't supply the electricity, we don't make the load shedding schedules, we don't know why certain areas go off and others don't, we don't know why municipalities are not following their schedules, we don't know why your lights are off when they are supposed to be on, we don't know why your lights are off and your neighbours lights are on, and we are in no way associated with the government, ESKOM or the municipalities.
We are a group of private financial services companies who don't make any money for this. So don't abuse our support staff with complaints, swearing and insults. This is a voluntary non-profit project. We are constantly striving to improve as we go along on a limited staff and budget, and in our spare time. Finally, If you wish to unsubscribe, go to your control panel link, select the municipality/s you set alerts for, untick all the suburbs for each municipality you are receiving alerts for and go to STEP2 to save your configuration. Your account will then be "Suspended" from all alerts and you can always re-activate them or sign up again at a later stage.
SURVIVE LOAD SHEDDING (EWN)
Load shedding. Power cuts. Rolling blackouts.
Call them what you will, they’re a reality and Eskom has warned they’re here to stay for most of 2019.
Load shedding is about Eskom balancing the power scales; it needs to be able to supply enough electricity to meet the country’s demands. When supply matches demand, everything is fine. But when the country needs more power than Eskom can generate, either because of an increase in demand or a drop in supply, then we’re in trouble.
If the country’s demand outstrips the amount of electricity that Eskom can supply, power stations start taking some serious strain and the system can be badly damaged. That, in turn, can lead to a national blackout – a truly worst case scenario.
To read about the different stages and hint and tips on how to survive load shedding read the full article here : http://ewn.co.za/Features/how-to-survive-load-shedding
City Water Consumption
City of Johannesburg Statement by
Cllr Nico de Jager
MMC: Environment and Infrastructure
City calls on residents to reduce water consumption
14 November 2017
Due to an increase in temperature, water consumption throughout the City has increased. However, the City has not received sufficient rain to sustain the current trend of increased water use.
Residents city-wide are requested to reduce their water usage; with particular caution requested from the greater Midrand area, as water consumption has increased at an alarming rate in the region.
Should usage not improve drastically, Joburg Water will have no choice but to throttle supply to areas which do not use water sparingly. When the National Department of Water and Sanitation lifted the water restrictions in early March 2017, it was agreed that the City of Joburg would retain some level of water restrictions. Residents are therefore reminded that Level 1 water restrictions are still in place.
With Level 1 restrictions, watering of gardens is not allowed between 6am and 6pm in summer months (1 Sept to 31 March). Furthermore, it is not allowed to wash paved areas and driveway using hose pipes.
Residents are also urged to continue to report all burst pipes, leaking water meters, open hydrants and leaks to:
- 011 375 5555/ 0860 562 974
- SMS 082 653 2143 or visit
Residents can also implement the following water saving tips:
- Do not leave taps dripping.
- Wash your car on the grass. This will water your lawn at the same time.
- Use a watering-can instead of a hose pipe.
- Shorten your showering time.
- Use a glass of water to rinse when brushing your teeth.
- Take shallow baths. Avoid filling your bath to a depth greater than 100mm.
- Re-use water to water your garden or pot plants.
Water is a scarce commodity and sustainability of supply requires that all residents work together to save this precious resource.
Level 1 water restrictions will be enforced by fines to consumers who contravened the Water Services Bylaw and consumers are urged to report non-compliance by phoning the JMPD 24/7 hotline on 011 758 9650.
Cllr Nico de Jager
MMC: Environment and Infrastructure Services Department
Phone: 083 899 2127
PETITION TO BAN FIREWORKS!!
This is an initiative by DA Councillor Sarah Wissler campaigning for an outright ban on fireworks in Johannesburg, not a specific Ward, but all of Johannesburg.
This needs huge public support in order to be considered.
If you are a resident of Johannesburg, please sign and gather support from other Johannesburg residents to sign as well.
From Peter Stewart
Residents don't need to apply for permission to use fireworks on the following days and times:
- New Year's Eve from 11pm to 1am
- New Year's Day from 7pm to 10pm
- Hindu New Year from 7pm to 10pm
- Lag b'omer from 7pm to 10pm
- Chinese New Year to 10pm
- Human Rights Day from 7pm to 10pm
- Freedom Day from 7pm to 10pm
- Guy Fawkes Day from 7pm to 10pm
- Diwali from 7pm to 10pm
- Christmas Eve from 7pm to 10pm
- Day of Goodwill from 7pm to 10pm
In terms of the City's by-laws, no person should use fireworks within 500 metres of any explosives factory, explosives storage place, petrol depot or petrol station, inside any building, at any public place or at any school, old age home or hospital. A fine of R1 500 will be slapped on any person found violating these laws.
Lighting or igniting fireworks in any place where animals are present will incur a fine of R1 000. Minors may not be allowed to light or ignite fireworks by any person caring for them.
To stage a fireworks display, permission must first be first sought in writing from the fireworks working committee or from the chief fire officer in that particular region. The application must reach the committee or the chief fire officer 14 days in advance to allow members of the public to launch any objections. If an application to present a fireworks display is approved by the council, it may require that the fireworks display be presented only on "suitable premises designated by the council and under the supervision and control of an official designated by the council".
Permission must also be sought to set off crackers in private yards. In the application, the person must outline the plan of the house, including any overhead pylons. A site inspection by the emergency management services will also be conducted.
On days of cultural and religious celebrations, no permission is required to use fireworks but it must be done within the times stipulated by the City's by-laws:
These include: New Years Day, Chinese New Year, Human Rights Day, Guy Fawkes Day, Christmas Eve and the Day of Goodwill, where displays can be held between 7pm and 10pm.
A R500 fine will be incurred if a person is found letting off fireworks on these days outside these times.
It is illegal to let off fireworks after midnight on any day except on New Year's Eve. On this day, fireworks are only allowed between 11pm and 1am. A fine R1 500 can be incurred for the illegal use of firecrackers or fireworks in public. The by-laws also specify that only licensed dealers may sell fireworks.
Applications to stage fireworks displays should be addressed to the emergency management services' divisional chief fire safety and faxed to 011-339-1507.
For more information contact the department on 011-407-6347
To be deceived or taken against your will, bought, sold and exploited. Modern Day Slavery!! People are bought and sold for sexual exploitation, forced labour, street crime, domestic servitude or even the sale of organs and human sacrifice. Men, women and children are trafficked within their own countries and across international borders. Trafficking affects every continent and every country.
…A system based on greed, control and power
…A global market place where people are the product and everyone has a price tag.
Download our lesson here – Human Trafficking
HOLIDAY HOME SAFETY
When you think of the holidays, celebrations, presents and friends likely come to mind – not crime. Unfortunately, burglaries increase at this time of year, and your home could be a target. With a few simple safety precautions, you can protect your property, your family and your valuables now and well into the New Year.
Download out lesson with great tips of how to take the best precautions CAT – Holiday homeowners
SAFETY FROM FIRE AT OUR HOMES
In light of all the fires in homes of late, many due to power surges, we would like to share this link with you. It is packed with all the information you could need.
Fire in our Homes - copied from Arrive Alive South Africa.
Emergency personnel have to respond to fires at homes and informal settlements across South Africa. In the bitterly cold winter weather the risk of injury from fire significantly increases. We received safety information from both ER24 and the KZN Emergency services on how to protect ourselves from these fires and would like to share this on the Arrive Alive website as well! Magnitude of the Threat of House Fires
The threat of house fires in South Africa was recently best highlighted by Patrick Kulati, Chief Executive Officer, Household Energy Safety Association of South Africa (HESASA). We would like to quote:
“Burns are among the most devastating of all injuries, with outcomes spanning the spectrum from physical impairments and disfigurement, to emotional and mental consequences. Despite the fact that injury due to burns is largely preventable, Africa carries an extraordinary burden of fire related injuries. It is estimated that over a million patients are burned annually on the African continent, with 18 percent of hospital admissions and six to ten percent of mortality being burn related.
In South Africa, a Medical Research Council report estimates that each year 3.2 percent (1 600 000) of the country’s population will suffer from burn injuries, with the vast majority being from poorer communities. This high incidence is driven by negative impact factors including the influx of people to urban areas, haphazard urban development, overcrowding, inadequate electrification of homes in low-income communities, paraffin and bio-mass fuels used as the primary energy sources, and lack of effective preventative and education programmes
House Fires as a threat to the Safety of Children
Young children are particularly vulnerable, with death as a result of burn injuries claiming approximately 1 300 young lives each year. This concentration of burn mortality and injury among infants and toddlers occurs more frequently among very young black children below the age of three. Incidents of burn injury thereafter decrease until adolescence when burn mortality rates start to increase once older children become exposed to a wider range of high-risk activities such as cooking and lighting fires for morning and evening meals - both of which are activities common for older children in low-income settings.
Older children also spend an increasing amount of time with other children, older siblings and adults outside the home. This widening social network exposes them to risks posed by open fires initiated for heating and cooking and managing heating appliances and heated appliances or utensils." What can we do to protect ourselves and to prevent fires at home?
Accidental fires are just that – an accident. There are however, a number of ways to prevent a fire starting accidentally in your home or business. It starts with having the knowledge of possible causes of fires, and being aware of seemingly harmless objects in your home or business that could ignite and lead to a fire.
It is not to say that every aspect of the home / business is a potential fire hazard, but it is advised to maintain a high index of suspicion when it comes to any form of electrical appliance, gas and open heat source being used.
Sources of Fire: What are causing these fires?
The most probable sources of a potential fire inside the home could come from any of the following, but is not limited to these few that are mentioned:
- Frayed electrical wires on appliances
- Burning candles
- Heaters/electric blankets
- Cigarette/cigar/tobacco pipe embers
- Fire places
- Gas leaks followed by a spark igniting
- Children playing with matches
- Burning oil on a stove top
Most of these though would need to be accelerated by another source, for example a roll of toilet tissue near a heater grill may ignite and start a fire. It is therefore very important to keep the area around any of these potential fire hazards mentioned above clear. Don’t leave any heater/heated appliance or open flame burning while you leave the room. Synthetic materials are widely used in household furniture. This material is highly flammable and will burn quickly once set alight. Keep open flames or embers away from foam matresses, stuffed couches, curtains and carpets. These usually also cover a wide surface area and will be the cause of other maybe less flammable objects to catch alight.
Preventing Fire at Home / Do’s and Don’ts
Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to a fire possibly breaking out in your house:
- DO buy a small fire extinguisher from a reputable dealer to keep in your home – note the correct way to use it
- DO familiarize yourself with emergency numbers in the event of a fire and medical emergency
- DO take note of warnings on selected appliances – do not cover heaters
- DO check electrical cables regularly for damage
- DON’T leave the room where a candle is burning, heater is on, fire in the fire place is still burning fiercely, oil is on heat atop the stove etc.
- DON’T pack personal belongings before leaving the house in the event of a fire
- DON’T try and put an oil fire in the kitchen out with water
- DON’T open a closed door of a room suspected to be on fire.
- DON’T enter a room that is on fire
- DON’T re-enter the home once you have exited away from the fire
- DO stay low to the ground when exiting a smoke filled room. Smoke will rise and staying low will minimize the potential for inhalation injuries.
- DO cover your nose and mouth with a (moist) cloth. This also minimizes the inhalation of smoke by breathing through a barrier.
- DO exit the burning building as soon and as safely as possible.
- DO extinguish cigarettes/Cigars and Pipe Tobacco in the appropriate manor
Unfortunately, having a smoke detector and alarm in each room of the house is not common practice in South Africa but it should be encouraged. These somewhat simple devices are inexpensive and are easy to install. Have them checked and make sure that the batteries are kept charged. A general rule to follow is to stay as far away from an uncontrolled open flame as possible.
Winter fires in KZN and fires in rural areas
As winter approaches KZN Emergency Medical Services, sees an increase in the number of cases responded to that involve fires, burns, smoke inhalation, and accidental ingestion of fuels. Although not all cases are the same and advice cannot cover all aspects of fire prevention these are several points that can be adhered to that can minimize the risk of fires starting and spreading. Many people rely on candles and lanterns to provide light, the major risk being that these light sources have an open flame, which poses a fire risk if it is knocked over, or if something falls against it. Precautions when providing lighting When using candles or lanterns, the following basic precautions can be taken:
- Never leave candles or lanterns unattended.
- Mount candles in a secure candle holder and keep candles away from other objects including curtains that can be blown closer to the candle or lantern.
- Don’t leave them on the edge of tables etc., where they may fall or be knocked off easily
- Be extremely cautious when children are around these devices.
- Don’t go to sleep with candles or lanterns still burning.
- Don’t let candles burn all the way to the bottom of the candle.
Precautions when providing heat/ warmth
When using heaters, similar precautions are required:
- Do not leave heaters unattended and switch them off when leaving the room or going to sleep
- If it is a fire or coal heater there must be good ventilation, this includes when a generator is used as exhaust fumes are produced.
- Be careful of sparks or embers coming off the fires.
Be very cautious of fuels (paraffin, jell used in stoves and lanterns) used in lanterns and jell stoves etc.
- Store the fuel away from where the devices are used
- Don’t store fuel in beverage containers
- Use a container that seals well.
- Educate children in the house about the fuel and store it out of their reach.
- If cooking with gas, close the valve of the cylinder after using it
What to do if a fire breaks out
- Raise the alarm! To others in the house and neighbors
- Call the fire department even for small fires
- If there is excessive smoke in the room crawl out on the floor
How to respond after a fire
- If someone has been burnt only put water on the burns and remove any tight clothing and jewelry
- If someone has inhaled smoke, move them to an area with fresh air.
- Call the ambulance service and fire department when there has been a fire or someone has been injured.
Despite there being many aspects of fire safety these are a few basic concepts that can help prevent the start and spread of fires, which can not only cause burns but also severe complications from inhaling the smoke produced by fires, which can cause injury can even death. [A word of appreciation to ER24 and Robert McKenzie from KZN EMS] Emergency Number for Fire Brigade 10177
SHUSH WARD 23
We’re here to empower the community
to stop firecrackers and help residents
protect their pets and loved ones.
Get involved. Be part of the change. Take a stand and stop firecrackers
We are going start an initiative with the goal of ending the use of illegal firecrackers within the suburbs of Ward 23, with the aim of rolling out to the rest of Johannesburg. Our goal is not to ban fireworks (which is unconstitutional) but to stop the use of excessively loud firecrackers that cause distress to animals, children and the elderly within the confines of the law.
New South Vet and The Glens Vet are available for any dogs that have been hurt or running scared.
They both have Nutri-calm and Calmeeze available to assist in keeping your pets calm.
83 days a Stray
Marchus is a Ridgeback, who went missing the night of New Year’s Eve, 2015, as ‘bomb’ like firecrackers were launched illegally near his home. He was alone and cold, scavenging the streets for 83 days, all while his family did everything possible to find him. This happens every year and our Ward 23 Cllr Sarah Wissler is on a mission to change this.
We want to join her and see what can be done to stop firecrackers and how we can keep our pets and family safe and sound.
Being respectful of other cultures and religious beliefs builds a stronger community.
Be fireworks savvy, know the local by-laws* and legal implications of handling fireworks
- Selling fireworks on the street is always illegal.
Igniting fireworks inside any building is illegal.
Igniting fireworks within 500 meters of a petrol station is illegal.
Igniting fireworks on any street, public place, school, old age home and hospital is illegal.
Selling fireworks without the required license in terms of the Explosives Act is illegal.
Dealing in fireworks without written authority of the Chief Fire Officer is illegal.
Selling fireworks to a child under the age of 16 is illegal.
Igniting fireworks in any place where animals are present is illegal.
A minor igniting fireworks is illegal.
Igniting a fireworks display without the Council’s authorization is illegal.
Igniting a fireworks display without a pyrotechnist is illegal.
Igniting a fireworks display without a qualified explosives expert’s presence is illegal.
Staging a fireworks display in private yards without the Council’s permission is illegal.
How to Lodge a Complaint
If you believe that someone in the neighborhood is in violation of the by-laws you’re responsible to log a complaint at the appropriate authorities. Please make sure you get a reference number for your complaint and then send it to our Cllr. so that we can follow up later if no action was taken.
If a perpetrator breaks the fireworks by-laws, like letting off fireworks outside of the allowed times, contact the Johannesburg Metro Police 011 375 5911
Tips to keep your pets and family safe
It’s your responsibility to do everything in your power to keep your pets and family safe during times when fireworks are allowed. The following tips are a guide to keep your pets and family safe and sound.
Make sure your pet is wearing a name tag with your contact details.
Implant a Microchip well before fireworks season.
Playing soft music can help keep your pet calm during firecrackers.
Take your dog for a walk during the day. This will help keep them clam in the evening.
Keep an updated picture of your pet in case they go missing.
Try a Thunder shirt. It’s a wrap for dogs that provides gentle, constant pressure. Speak to your vet about them.
Keep your pet indoors and make sure the curtains and windows are closed.
- Provide lots of bedding so your pet has something to burrow in.
- Using natural sedatives like Melatonin can help relax your dog. Please advise with your vet.
- Toys and treats will help distract your pet from fireworks.
- If you’re away, make sure you have someone to pet-sit.
- Make sure your pet has somewhere to hide if they want to. For example this may be under some furniture, in your cupboard, or in a quiet corner.