City Power – Joburg’s electricity system not in crisis

JOBURG - CITY Power has dismissed claims that Joburg faces an energy crisis. The utility had come under fire for the number of power outages experienced across the city.

City Power spokesperson Louis Pieterse said the entity was able to efficiently supply electricity to Joburg’s residents and businesses. This follows earlier calls by DA councillor Vasco da Gama for Executive Mayor Parks Tau to declare an electricity emergency arguing that City Power was unable to efficiently supply electricity.

Responding to the claims made in August this year, Pieterse said during winter, call levels were extremely high as a result of individual customer overload; and in many instances because their meters had been bypassed.

Pieterse conceded that ageing infrastructure had, to an extent, impacted the utility’s service delivery but added that this was being addressed. “The infrastructure is indeed in need of refurbishment and it forms part of our capital investment programme,” he said.

On average 40 percent of all outages was the result of cable theft and 8 percent was due to technical failures, he said.

However, Da Gama maintained that there was an energy crisis in Joburg. He argued that if City Power’s infrastructure was as well maintained as the utility claimed, Joburg would not have experienced the recent water shortages that were partly caused by a transformer failure.

“Power is so important and without it we will have a crisis simply because they aren’t able to look after infrastructure,” he said.

“Unless the City of Joburg starts viewing infrastructure as important, we will continue to have outages.”

Da Gama said there were several areas in Joburg where power boxes were left open and vital infrastructure was not guarded, adding that there were no alarms to alert officials when infrastructure was being tampered with.

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