Home News Meet the man responsible for coordinating load shedding in Cape Town

Meet the man responsible for coordinating load shedding in Cape Town

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If you thought your job was stressful, think again. Meet Gordon Dindi, the man responsible for the load shedding schedule in CT.
Lester Kiewit chats to Gordon Dindi, Head of Network Control at City of Cape Town.

Another day, another session of navigating our way in the dark.

The man in the shadows, Gordon Dindi, lives his life under cover, so much so that his own children can’t tell their friends what he does for a living, or any other person in the public for that matter.

If you ever wondered why your electricity may not go off at 7 o’clock on the dot, or come back on at the exact scheduled time, it’s because there are a group of grid operators sitting behind a computer controlling all of it, headed by Gordon Dindi.

In an ideal world, I mean we would simply flip a switch and lights go off and then at precisely the time it’s supposed to come back, we flip another switch, and things would work like that, but it’s not ideal.
The process is completely computer based.
Substations which are responsible for particular suburbs then switch gears via a centralised control centre.
Commands are then sent to the substations which initiates the process on their side to activate the levers which opens the breaker.
Once the breaker has opened, they receive a signal confirming that it’s been opened.
They will then receive confirmation which is displayed on their systems about the amount of load that has been switched off.
Dindi states that when one grid goes off it needs to be taken into consideration that another grid has been switched on, which is why the time at which your electricity goes off and comes back on may not be precise.

When we perform switching, we have to balance load flows. That is to ensure that the grid does not get overloaded or congested as consumers are restored.

Gordon Dindi, Head of Network Control at City of Cape Town
If there is an overload, then it’s possible for certain areas to experience an electrical trip.

If you’re someone that doesn’t get load shedding even if everyone else in your area does, this could be because there’s someone of importance that lives in your road, perhaps a minister or because of a hospital.

Dindi states that in circumstances like that, there are areas of exclusion, but once again, it’s not ideal.

There are some critical roads that have to be excluded from load shedding; these are typically hospitals but it’s not ideal.

Gordon Dindi, Head of Network Control at City of Cape Town
When asked about the whereabouts of the control station, Dindi left us in the dark in more ways than one.

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