City Power is involved in another quarrel with Eskom.
The City of Johannesburg’s electricity provider has accused the power utility’s staff of deliberately delaying the restoration of power to parts of Johannesburg.
City Power said it was concerned that a go-slow by Eskom’s employees had affected its customers as South Africa experiences load shedding.
This comes as customers have complained that their power is only restored long after their designated load shedding slots.
“Our customers have in recent days been hard done by when electricity is supposed to be restored after load shedding, with many restored several hours after their scheduled restorations,” said City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena.
Mangena said the customers most affected by the outages were in the Randburg, Midrand and Lenasia areas.
He added that some customers in the Northriding and Windsor suburbs had experienced three to five hours without electricity after load shedding had ended.
Mangena claimed that some Eskom employees were taking their time to restore power as part of a go-slow to highlight their unhappiness over labour issues.
“They are on a go-slow over time allowance. We call on Eskom to address its staff issues to enable them to operate load shedding remotely instead of manually,” he said.
On 31 October, Eskom said some technicians had embarked on a go-slow, which had led to delays in fixing network faults.
“We can confirm Eskom management met with the trade unions and labour matters were resolved, with the agreement that technicians will resume operations,” said Daphne Mokwena, Eskom’s senior customer service Manager.
Mangena, however, said this was “unacceptable”.
“We have raised our concerns with Eskom in this regard and appeal to our customers to bear with us while we try to resolve this with Eskom.”
In October, City Power had to backtrack on claims that its customers were exempt from load shedding. This came after the City of Johannesburg rejected Eskom’s scheduled load shedding on 24 October.
The City of Johannesburg argued that it is qualified to be exempted from stage 1 and 2 load shedding as it has secured additional power supply from the Kelvin Power Station.
The following Monday, however, City Power said it would implement load shedding, adding that it had reached an agreement with Eskom “to work together in the national interest and to protect the national grid”.