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Universities Spending Millions To Keep Running During Loadshedding

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Universities Spending Millions To Keep Running During Loadshedding

It seems that South Africa is experiencing an electricity crisis that is getting worse. South Africans are suffering from the loadshedding crisis, and universities are not exempt.

Universities Spending Millions To Keep Running During Loadshedding

Millions of rands are spent every day by universities to maintain lecture halls and other facilities. University finances will be affected long-term by loadshedding, which isn’t expected to end soon.

Dr. Phethiwe Matutu, the CEO of Universities South Africa (USAf), said universities spent most of their money on diesel and petrol to power generators.

During stage 3 load-shedding, Matutu states that smaller universities spend approximately R1233 per day while larger universities spend R196000 per day.

For smaller universities, the amount spent on loadshedding increases to R2 600, while for larger universities it increases to R2.2 million.

As a result of loadshedding, universities have had to allocate funds or redirect finances in order to accommodate rolling blackouts.Loadshedding is not an option for many universities due to lack of funds or because their current generators aren’t adequate.

According to Matutu, many universities have implemented a contingency plan that includes hybrid energy sources, solar power, backup generators, and inverter batteries. These resources, however, have not been able to continue all teaching and learning.

To help these universities operate in the short term and reduce the impact of loadshedding, Matutu suggested that the government make extra funds available.

As a result of the short-term solution, universities and the government will be able to come up with a clear strategy and find an appropriate alternative to keep universities operating during this power crisis.

In an effort to mitigate the impact loadshedding has on institutions, Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, announced the establishment of a joint working group between the Departments of Higher Education and Training, and Science and Innovation.

The group is currently conducting a survey of the impact of loadshedding on universities.

Ten of those universities developed plans to deal effectively with loadshedding, according to the survey. The other eight universities are still developing their plans.

As a result of loadshedding, other academic programs will be adjusted accordingly. In order to mitigate the effects of loadshedding, most institutions will implement hybrid teaching and learning methods.

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