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City Power backtracks on promise to protect customers from load shedding

City Power backtracks on promise to protect customers from load shedding

First, City Power in Johannesburg informed its customers that it would not implement load shedding. When load shedding was implemented – as per Eskom’s directive – the City threatened the national power supplier with legal action in a statement on Sunday, 24 October. By Monday, however, the City said Eskom made compelling arguments in a meeting and therefore customers would have to face power cuts.

LOAD SHEDDING DOUBLE WHAMMY

In Eskom’s first load shedding announcement this past weekend, the power supplier said that Stage 2 load shedding would be implemented at 21:00 on Saturday until 5:00 on Monday, 25 October because of a “shortage of generation capacity.”

On Sunday, 24 October, Eskom put out another statement, which announced that load shedding would also be implemented between 21:00 to 5:00 on Monday and Tuesday nights.

On Sunday afternoon, City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said municipal power utility customers will not experience load shedding.

“City Power recently signed an extension of a Power Purchase Agreement with Kelvin Power Station which gives us extra up to 220MW capacity to offset at least Stage 1 and Stage 2 imposed by Eskom,” said  Mangena in a statement in response to Eskom’s initial load shedding announcement.

“We, therefore, believe that with this extra capacity we will be able to cushion the residents of the City from the inconvenience of Load shedding Stage 1 and 2,” added the spokesperson.

On Sunday, just before 21:00, the office of Johannesburg’s Mayor, Mpho Moerane, issued another statement in response to the announcement that load shedding would continue until the middle of the week.

“It looks like Eskom has no intention of serving the people of Johannesburg better after we as a municipality have done everything within our reach to ensure security of power supply,” said Moerane.

“If how Eskom treats the City is anything to go by, then it is understandable why Johannesburg residents have so many complaints about the national utility’s customer service. Therefore, the City is now prepared to go the legal route to halt Eskom’s blanket heavy-handedness against the people of Johannesburg, especially those whose Eskom accounts are up to date,” said Moerane.

CITY POWER BACKTRACK

Eskom and City Power issued a joint statement on Monday, 25 October, which essentially said that the City of Johannesburg had backtracked and would comply with the national utility’s load shedding directives, following a meeting, in the interest of protecting the national power grid.

“City Power will follow and implement the directive of the System Operator, and implement load shedding on its customers in the City of Johannesburg as required.

“The collective understanding by both entities is to protect the national power grid while reducing the impact of load shedding,” read the statement.

If the Kelvin Power Station power purchase agreement will protect Johannesburg residents from load shedding in the future remains to be seen. The statement said that technical teams from Eskom and City Power will continue to verify the additional capacity that can be added to the national grid and explore possibilities “that may see City of Johannesburg partially shielded from load shedding in future.”


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