Newcastle Local Municipality’s innovative approach to load shedding

Newcastle Local Municipality innovative approach to load shedding

Newcastle Local Municipality has managed to remain unaffected by Load Shedding while the rest of South Africa has endured power outages since 2008.

Newcastle Local Municipality has managed to remain unaffected by Load Shedding while the rest of South Africa has endured power outages since 2008. During Local Government Week which took place from the 25 – 27 August 2015, the National Council of Provinces invited the Newcastle Municipality’s task team, represented by Mayor Cllr. Afzul Rehman, Acting Municipal Manager, Bhekani Mswane and Strategic Executive Director for the Electrical Department, Mr Lindile Zincume to present the Municipality’s innovative approach when it comes to dealing with Load Shedding.

During their presentation the task team revealed that the Municipality has two electricity licenses. The Newcastle Local Municipality license covers 18 000 households, which include the CBD, industrial area and suburbs while Eskom license covers approximately 65 000 households, which include Madadeni, Osizweni and Blaaubosch. There are no curtailment agreements in place by Eskom with Newcastle industrial customers. Newcastle Municipality has in turn put in place plans to shed industrial customers without having a major impact on production. One of the challenges is multi-shedding stage changes in a day and shedding only what is required within a stage is a challenge as the load consumed is not always average load for the area.

Load Shedding Interventions:
• This is usually used for Demand Management Side (DSM) to reduce Maximum Demand.
• In Newcastle Municipality the geyser ripple control is also used to reduce load.
• The reduction in load varies depending on time of day (cold load up to 25MVA)
• This means stage 1-2 can always be met with geyser control only

Load Shedding Interventions – Major Customer Shedding
• The municipality has agreements in place with its no. 1 Karbochem to shed up to 6MVA without significantly affecting production (Stage 3).
• In an emergency this client is able to switch off one of two furnaces to give a load of approximately 30MVA.

Load Shedding Interventions – Co-Generation Plants
• Electricity produced from co-generation plants enables customers to maintain production while reduction consumption from the municipality.
• IPSA Plant – 16MVA
• South African Calcium Carbide Plant – 8MVA

Load Shedding Interventions – Street Lighting Control
• In the event that during evening peaks required load is not achieved it is possible to shed streetlights.
• Street lighting Load is 3MVA.

Load Shedding Interventions- Rational Load Shedding
• Newcastle has a fully functional Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System in place
• The system was fully upgraded in 2014/15 by Powertech IST
• ABB hand-operated breakers have also been replaced with automatic breakers to enable remote control using SCADA.
• Last resort approach.

Load Shedding Interventions – Future Interventions
• Voltage Reduction
• Voltage reduction facility is in place and can achieve a saving of 4MVA but is not used at this stage
• All industrial customers have smart meters
• Future potential for load limiting
• COGTA PPP Residential Smart Meter Programme
• Future potential for further load limiting

Newcastle Municipality has applied a number of interventions to achieve load shedding requirements. The municipality will continue to work hand in hand with Eskom in the implementation of load shedding and continue to think of innovative ways of integrating the shedding system while upholding the needs of Newcastle residents and businesses within the Municipality. Newcastle Municipality strives to be an economically stable model city.

Celebrating Women Working in Dangerous Zones


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The Department of Special Programmes within the Newcastle Municipality celebrated women working in dangerous zones, women who excel and go beyond their call of duty to make Newcastle proud. Our beautiful rocks that are not apologetic of breaking the barriers, in an event held at the Ridgeview Civic Hall, on the 9th of September 2015.

This year women’s day was not only celebrated on the 8th of August thus the Presidency made certain that women are honoured every week of the women’s month with events that speak directly to their different strengths.

Under the theme; Women United in moving South Africa forward, Special Programmes Manager Samke Dube urged women to get rid of the disease that each women is known to be suffering from. “The pull me down syndrome is the main enemy between women. We do not support each other but we always pull each other down, if this disease can be cured we can indeed take South Africa forward”, said Mrs Dube.

Mrs Dube also gave the background and purpose of the event, where she reminded women that they are the world’s greatest, “It is critical for us as women to know where we come from, where we are going and where we are”. She advised women to carry forward the spirit of Charlotte Maxeke, Lillian Ngoyi, Hellen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and many others who fought tirelessly against the brutality of the apartheid government and break all the barriers that are causing a hindrance to women’s prosperity.

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The Speakers of the day delivered speeches that displayed the power that women possess, Zandi Zwane from Newcastle Municipality’s Geographical Information System(a health fanatic) encouraged women to take care of their bodies, Carol Captain from Traffic Department talked about the dangers that women face on the road, Mpume Zuma from the Department of Correctional Services shared her experiences when dealing with convicts and Thoko Mhlongo from the Department of Justice spoke about the functions of her department.

Guest Speaker Megan Ngiba a young businesswomen from Durban reminded women that they are conquerors and they deserve to be treated with respect and honour.

Women are deemed incapable of running businesses because they are said to be too emotional and too soft to get things done. What people forget though is that women are strong and whatever a man can do we can do it better. More women need to break the barriers and become directors and managers”, added Ngiba.

The event was also graced by the presence of Dr N.Y Mahlubi from the Department of Education during her message of support Mahlubi thanked the Newcastle Municipality for affording women a chance to have a voice and talk about their struggles and also honouring women who have broken the barriers and prospered.

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She encouraged women to study to their full potential and in the same essence she reminded ladies to love their families while loving their jobs and not allow the other to suffer because of the other.

In closing, Newcastle Deputy Mayor Cllr Rachel Mdluli said that as Government is celebrating 20 years of non-racial and non-sexiest democracy, “We must ensure that strong measures are taken to support our female traffic officers, our policewomen and everyone who works in the previously male dominated departments, so that they can be able to address and fight against challenges that women face every day when they go to work”.

“On the 3rd of August 2015, eight councillors from this municipality were graduating. That goes to show that it is never too late to be where you want to be. I want to thank all the ladies for their contribution towards the betterment of Newcastle, we as the Newcastle Municipality are thankful and we respect you for what you have done”, concluded the Deputy Mayor.

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Newly elected councillor sworn–in

Cllr F.A Malinga swearing under oath in front of the Speaker and the magistrate

Cllr F.A Malinga swearing under oath in front of the Speaker and the magistrate

The Newcastle Municipality sworn-in one of the Inkatha Freedom Party devotee as a PR councillor. Ms. Fikile Angel Malinga was finally sworn-in as a PR councillor on Wednesday the 2nd of September at the Newcastle Council chamber. Present to witness this prestigious event was the whole of Exco, councilors, to officiate the induction the court magistrate Mrs. Hills was also present.

According to the Newcastle Municipal Speaker Cllr Mandla Zikhali, Ms. Malinga was appointed after the resignation of P.R Cllr M .Mlangeni due to personal circumstances. Ms. Mlangeni swore under oath to serve the community she represent without fear or favor. She promised to carry forward the mandate given to her by council which is in line with the vision and mission of the Newcastle Municipality. Council welcomes the newly appointed Cllr and believes that her contribution will be colossally.

Let’s welcome Spring by saving water

As part of a bid for water rationing the Newcastle Municipality urges the Community to use water sparingly on this day as we are all welcoming Spring.

The Community usually enjoy this day by cooling off the heat through water games that sees buckets full water flying in evey street and every school, today we plead with the Community to work with us and help us save Newcastle from experiencing the drought that is threatning our town and conserve water.

The severity of the drought facing the province is very serious and needs to be treated as such. In a previous statement issued by the Municipality Honourable Mayor Cllr Afzul Rehman encouraged every citizen of Newcastle to remember that water is a precious resource and therefore should be used with care.

He mentioned that while the Municipality is not currently under immediate threat, the low rainfalls across the province also put Newcastle in danger of water shortages within the next few months. “Our wish to Newcastle water customers is that they will use water sparingly, make sure leaks are reported and fixed by the Municipality and consciously save water,” said the Mayor.

Mayor Rehman urged Newcastle residents to make water conservation part of their everyday lives and follow water saving tips provided by the Municipality.
• Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and shave.
• Make sure that the tap is closed after you have finished using it.
• Take a shower instead of a bathtub.
• When taking a bathtub do not fill up the water to the top of the tub.
• When cooking do not fill up the pot with water.
• Ensure that toilet and pipe leaks anywhere in the house are fixed
• only flush the toilet when it is necessary.
• When washing your motor vehicle, use a bucket instead of a hose pipe

Protect our children from Cyber Bullying and Sexting

Cyber Bullying and sexting are two of the new concepts that are affecting many young children and learners. The sharing of explicit content, nude/semi-nude photographs, videos and messages portraying sexual behaviour has become a popular trend amongst youth.

What is cyber bullying?
Cyber bullying is harassment that takes place through the use of electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers or tablets
on social media sites, via text or instant messaging and chat. It occurs in the form of mean or hurtful messages, embarrassing or explicit photographs, videos or emails are shared or posted on these platforms and causes harm to others.

What is Sexting?
Sexting is when nude or semi-nude photos or videos and sexually suggestive messages are sent via mobile phone through texting or chat. These types of messages may be classified as child pornography especially where minors are involved.

Did you know there are legal consequenceS if you are involved in cyber bullying and Sexting?
Section 19 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters ) Amendment Act, 2007 (Act 32 of 2007) states that any person exposing, displaying, or causing exposure or display, of child pornography to a child is guilty of the offence of
exposing or displaying or causing the exposure or display, of child pornography or pornography to a child.

If you are found guilty of sharing explicit content, you may be criminally charged With the following offences:
Crimen injuria: This is the intent to violate the dignity and or privacy of another person.
Assault: This is an intentional act which causes harm to another person’s bodily integrity.
Criminal Defamation: This is intentionally causing harm or hate speech that seriously impacts or injures a person’s reputation. This can be done verbally or in writing.
Extortion: This is when a person intentionally obtains information such as videos, images etc which is used to pressure others into doing something or even paying for the information not to be leaked.

Play your Part to Stop cyber bullying and Sexting
• Parents are urged to play a role and be aware of the type of technologies and social media platforms that are used by children and to monitor the type of content that is shared on these platforms.
• Let’s stop cyber bullying and sexting! Report anyone who is a suspected perpetrator of cyber bullying and sexting.

Where to Seek help or report cyber bullying and Sexting?
• Call Childline on 080 005 5555
• Call lifeline on 011 728 1347
• Report a case to the south african Police services 10111 or 086 001 0111

President Zuma: Government committed to improve the lives of women


1. President Jacob Zuma says government is aware that there is still more that needs to be done to improve the lives of women.
2. Speaking at the Women’s Day celebration held in Sasolburg in the Free State, President Zuma said the government focus was now on economic empowerment of women.
3. He also used the opportunity to praise all the women who took part in the 1956 march to the Union Buildings to protest against the pass law.
4. “Their sacrifices reminds us that freedom was attained through blood and sweat. We pay tribute to all the South African women who paid for our democracy,” he said.
5. President Zuma said if the country is to succeed, women should participate in the economy.
6. This year’s Women’s Day is celebrated under the theme: “Women united in moving South Africa forward”. Women’s Month is taking place against the backdrop of the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter.

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MEDIA STATEMENT : Newcastle Municipality investigates collapsed building

Newcastle Municipality investigates collapsed building. Photo: Newcastle Advertiser

Newcastle Municipality investigates collapsed building. Photo: Newcastle Advertiser

On the 13th August 2015, the municipality was alerted to the collapsed building at the corner of Ayliff and Paterson Street which ended with fatal injuries. We have been made aware that 1 person died from injuries whilst others had sustained injuries. Notably on this day, Newcastle was experiencing strong winds, which could have partially attributed to the collapse of the building. However, an internal investigation is being carried out by the department of Development Planning and Human Settlements to determine precisely matters that gave rise to this tragedy. Nonetheless, our preliminary report on the status of construction underway revealed the following aspects:

1. The building construction commenced without the approved building plans as such the foundation was not inspected and approved by Building Inspectors;
2. the time (10 April 2015) when the owner of the property was ordered to cease construction the foundation of the building was already casted;
3. Building plans were submitted on the 15th April 2015 and finally approved on 20 April 2015;
4. As part of the approved plans, the owner was advised to appoint an engineer given the type of construction to ensure;
5. As such DESK 22 was appointed as the consulting Engineer on the project and Roofman, the builder;
6. The Engineer’s designs/ drawings differ materially from the architectural drawings approved by the municipality in the following areas:
6.1 The structural walls are constructed out of 190mm hollow core blocks instead of the approved 230mm bricks. It is expected that the strengths of these walls will differ;
6.2 Centre of the Gable walls contains a 460 X 460 width without stanchion contrary to the approved plans showing the centre with stanchion lateral support width enclosed in the brick pier;
6.3 The structure is made out of portal frame with castellated beams as opposed to the Council approved mono-pitch steel truss construction;
6.4 The brickforce visible from the collapsed wall appeared to be less than the minimum requirement;

At this stage a letter has been written to the owner of the premises (Mr Singh) to furnish the municipality with detailed report articulating issues that gave rise to the structural failure of the South eastern wall and validation that the remaining walls and castellated roof is sound safe for human occupation. Attempts to reach the engineer have been in vein. It is understood that other institutions are involved on this matter such as SAPS and Department of Labour.

The Mayor of Newcastle Cllr Afzul Rehman on Behalf of Newcastle Municipality would like to extend his condolences to the family of the life lost and a speedy recovery to those injured. Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with the families during this difficult.

Mayor Afzul Rehman hands over houses to women in need

From the right, Mayor Cllr Afzul Rehman with the Manager in the Office of the Mayor, Ms Nomusa Mtshali and sitting down is Gogo Noboli Martha Nkambule who was handed over the house by Mayor Rehman.

From the right, Mayor Cllr Afzul Rehman with the Manager in the Office of the Mayor, Ms Nomusa Mtshali and sitting down is Gogo Noboli Martha Nkambule who was handed over the house by Mayor Rehman.

Newcastle Municipality Mayor Afzul Rehman handed over houses to two disadvantaged women headed households on Thursday, 13 August 2015 in Maskraal, Emavillakazini in ward 31 and Osizweni in ward 10, as part the many continuous initiatives the Newcastle Municipality has planned to help uplift the community as we commemorate Women’s Month.

Gogo, Noboli Martha Nkambule who resides in Osizweni is a 78 year old pensioner, lives with her great grandchildren, relying on her pension money to take care of her family as she is the sole breadwinner. Gogo Nkambule’s condition was identified through the ward 10 War Room and brought to the attention of Mayor, Cllr, Rehman. The Jiyane family who reside in Maskraal were also handed over a house as a mother lives with her two children, one of whom is physically disabled. The Jiyane’s family poor circumstances were identified by their local church who reported the matter to their ward councillor, whom than passed it to the office of the Mayor.

Newcastle Municipality recognises that women, children and the elderly are the most affected by the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality, which continue to persist, despite progress made since the first democratic elections. Newcastle remains committed to assisting its citizens in any way possible and providing safe and dignified housing for all its residents.

Government : Apply now for admission to tertiary institutions


Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister, Mduduzi Manana, has encouraged learners to apply at institutions of higher learning for the 2016 academic year now.

September is the cut-off deadline for many institutions of higher learning.

The Deputy Minister said this on Tuesday as he rolled out the 2015 Apply Now/Khetha Career Guidance Campaign at three schools in Bergville, in KwaZulu-Natal.

The campaign is aimed at encouraging learners to apply on time for admission to post-school institutions to avoid the last minute rush at the beginning of each academic year. The campaign runs from March to September each year.

“The campaign was initiated by the department, following the unfortunate incident that happened at the University of Johannesburg in 2012, where a mother died in a stampede whilst accompanying her child to submit a late application.

“The career guidance component of the campaign seeks to inform learners about career choices available within the post-school education and training (PSET) sector,” the Ministry said.

Among the learners who attended the event was Silindile Kubheka. The 18-year-old is President of the Learner Representative Council at Mhlawazini High School.

She encouraged learners to heed the call and apply on time. “We promise to obtain above 80% pass for matric so we can benefit fully on the opportunities shared by the Honourable Deputy Minister,” said Kubheka.

The Deputy Minister encouraged learners to consider Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges as an alternative to university education because the skills needs of the country necessitate a massive production of artisans from TVET colleges.

He also promoted the 100 occupations in high demand list that was released by the Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande in 2014.

This will assist learners to make informed career choices to avoid a situation where they too join a cohort of unemployed and unemployable graduates, said the Ministry.

The department is currently running a career development services centre to assist learners with career advice.

Deputy Minister Manana encouraged learners to use their cell phones to reach the centre by sending an SMS or a “Please Call Me” to 072 204 5056. –

Newcastle Municipality Celebrates Women’s Month


Newcastle Municipality salutes the courage of women such as Charlotte Maxeke, Lillian Ngoyi, Hellen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and many others who fought tirelessly against the brutality of the apartheid government, when they marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women.

In line with national government, Newcastle Municipality has made great strides in the advancement of women since the first democratic elections, to ensure that women enjoy the same rights as their male counterparts in relation to education, employment, property, inheritance and justice. Women such as Dorothy Nyembe who hails from our neighbouring town Dundee, paved the way for young girls and women to shape their futures and not be discriminated based on their gender. Our very own Newcastle Municipality, Deputy Mayor, Cllr Racheal Mdluli is an example that young girls can succeed in every career they choose to embark on. Our democracy was built on the actions of the women of
the liberation movement and our Municipality acknowledges that more still needs to be done, to cast off the chains that still hinder the progress of some women. During the month of August, the Newcastle Municipality has planned a variety of programmes to uplift women in business, education and safety.

Women are the guardians of our nation and Newcastle Municipality celebrates women in August and every other month of the year. The Newcastle Municipality will continue uplifting and championing the rights of women because our nation can only become a true success when our women are treated equally and are also successful. Let us unite to move women empowerment forward to combat poverty and encourage sustainable development. Newcastle Municipality salutes all women in our Municipal office and every corner of our communities.

Malibongwe igama lamakhosikazi
Let the name of women be praised.