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Clarens implements group curtailment amidst loadshedding crisis


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Clarens implements group curtailment amidst loadshedding crisis

Clarens implements group curtailment amidst loadshedding crisis
Photo by Reuters

12th February 2024


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/ MEDIA STATEMENT / The content on this page is not written by, but is supplied by third parties. This content does not constitute news reporting by

In a move towards sustainability and innovation, the small town of Clarens in the Eastern Free State has emerged as the country’s inaugural smart town, where residents actively participate in managing their electricity demand through a pioneering initiative called ‘group curtailment’.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) commends the community for embracing this initiative, considering the ANC’s failure to address the national crisis.


Faced with power interruptions and loadshedding that have impacted the local economy, Clarens embarked on a journey to introduce smart solutions into its strategy. Eskom, in a collaborative effort, introduced community-led load curtailment, which was accepted and implemented by the town.

Bibi Bedir, Eskom’s Senior Manager for Retail in the Free State, explained, “Group curtailment requires the collaborative efforts of the entire community to reduce load when requested.” The process involves timely notifications, with a nominated group coordinator directing residents on reducing electricity demand by switching off non-essential equipment during specified periods.


To facilitate seamless management, a dedicated application was developed, notifying residents when curtailment is required. Gert Kruger, Claren’s group coordinator and director of Augos, the company behind the application, stated, “For a town that depends on tourism, not being subjected to loadshedding is life-changing.”

The success of Clarens’ initiative, measured by residents’ voluntary participation and effective load reduction, positions the town as a benchmark for similar projects nationwide. With positive feedback from both the community and businesses, Clarens sets the stage for a new era of smart towns in South Africa. It also emphasises the fact that the power to rescue our towns and provinces is in the hands and votes of our residents.


Issued by Irene Rugheimer - DA Councillor Dihlabeng Local Municipality


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