Reitumetse Makwea

By Reitumetse Makwea

Journalist


City Power’s load shedding takeover ‘only screams disaster’

Another analyst said this could be a game-changer for Gauteng, 'especially when coupled with the Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi’s plans to alleviate load shedding'.


Joburg City Power taking control of load shedding from Eskom was met with mixed emotions. While some experts said this could alleviate load shedding in some areas, others said it was a sign that load shedding was still catastrophic in the country. In a joint statement with Eskom, the local power utility said it would take over blackout operations for most of the areas that were previously load shed by Eskom. City Power takeover “Areas that are load shed by City Power will remain on a two-hour schedule, even during stage 5 and above of load shedding,” said the statement.…

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Joburg City Power taking control of load shedding from Eskom was met with mixed emotions. While some experts said this could alleviate load shedding in some areas, others said it was a sign that load shedding was still catastrophic in the country.

In a joint statement with Eskom, the local power utility said it would take over blackout operations for most of the areas that were previously load shed by Eskom.

City Power takeover

“Areas that are load shed by City Power will remain on a two-hour schedule, even during stage 5 and above of load shedding,” said the statement.

“The two entities will keep exploring technical solutions that will enable City Power to take over the load shedding operations of its remaining customers.

“City Power has its processes, systems, and technical capacity in place to take over the added load shedding operations.”

ALSO READ: Joburg load shedding to be limited to two-hour slots as City Power takes over from Eskom

Energy analyst Linda Alexander said the shift implied that alterations would be made to the power outage schedules within the city, resulting in an impact on the timing of power cuts in areas served by City Power in Joburg and Eskom throughout Gauteng.

Alexander said this could be a game-changer for Gauteng, “especially when coupled with the Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi’s plans to alleviate load shedding”.

‘Disaster’

However, energy analyst Tshepo Kgadima said “this only screams disaster” because it showed that load shedding was catastrophic in South Africa.

ALSO READ: City Power introduces independent power producers as it battles load shedding

“The blow to the economy and the inconvenience to the user doesn’t change,” Kgadima said. He said there wasn’t much happening or difference with the change.

“It’s just that, instead of Eskom personnel switching off at the time, it’s going to be City Power personnel.”

This after Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said he was convinced that the improvement in the performance of generation units was permanent and that Eskom’s maintenance efforts were finally paying off.

“We are not out of the woods, but we are turning the corner. The fact that we can go for a day without load shedding is psychologically (important). It is a major victory,” Ramokgopa said.

Kgadima disagreed and said up till now, Eskom still has not realised the impact of load shedding on the damage to the economy.

ALSO READ: Kieswetter estimates load shedding cost economy about R150bn

“There should be no room for load shedding. We haven’t turned the leaf. We’re in load shedding,” he said.

– reitumetsem@citizen.co.za

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