Dear Students and Staff of Stellenbosch University
Since Sunday, the country moved to stage 6 load shedding after Eskom chief executive Andre de Ruyter said that the power utility had been hit with a double blow of failing units. This situation will remain in place until they have restored the necessary capacity.
Critical buildings on the Stellenbosch campus that have generators will be operational during load shedding for the duration of the academic day from 06h00 to 18h00. Our facilities management teams will continue to replenish the diesel accordingly.
Non-critical buildings (see list below), such as buildings where there are no freezers or critical equipment, will have “generator-shedding" as follows:
During the week: from 18h00 to 06h00
Over the weekend: all day (24 hours)
The non-critical buildings are:
Facilities Management building
Van der Sterr
If any of these buildings require power for specific events during the week or weekends, please contact the building's facilities manager, who will channel the request to Facilities Management.
Should load shedding move beyond level 6, we may need to take additional measures.
Students who do not have access to study or computer-user areas due to load shedding can use the lecture venues and computer user areas at the Jan Mouton building to study between 17h00 and 03h00, subject to these venues being used after hours for tests or exams. Other venues on campus may also be used for study purposes.
What SU is doing
SU has 50 generators across all our campuses to lessen the effects of load shedding. These generators currently provide the power we need for our essential buildings to function within our academic hours.
Since 2016 facilities management has been hard at work putting preventative measures in place to ensure that Stellenbosch University can fulfil its purpose - to complete each academic year successfully with as little disruption for students and staff as possible.
We have approved the concept for a district generation project where we will construct a ring-feed of electrical supply to multiple buildings. With the completion of this project, we will be able to reduce the number of generators significantly while increasing the backup capacity. Emergency power can then be provided to the whole campus. Having fewer units to maintain will reduce maintenance costs and downtime on these units.
Various energy-saving projects within the broader campus renewal project have been concluded successfully or are underway to reduce our reliance on the national grid.
The Neelsie photovoltaic (PV) solar rooftop plant, which currently generates 393kW electricity and saves us more than R1 million per year, is the precursor for an R73 million PV project that started this year and will be rolling out towards 2025, where we will see solar panels on buildings across four campuses.
We have also installed Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) units to access doors in the residential cluster, ensuring that all main doors to residences provide controlled access to all residences for security reasons. All fire alarms are also on this system.
Buildings on the Stellenbosch Campus which have emergency power during loadshedding will be indicated and shown on the SU interactive campus map, at the following link, https://campusmap.sun.ac.za/
Nicolette van den Eijkel
Chief Director: Facilities Management