City of Joburg ‘rejects’ new round of load shedding, threatens legal action against Eskom

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Mpho Moerane. Foto: Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo
Mpho Moerane. Foto: Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo

In a statement issued on Saturday night, the City of Johannesburg said that it may launch legal action following a new round of load shedding.

On Saturday night, Eskom resumed Stage 2 load shedding, which will continue until Monday morning at 05:00.

In a statement, Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Moerane said the city "rejects" this new round of load shedding.

Moerane said that the City recently secured additional power supply capacity of 220MW from the privately-owned Kelvin power station that qualifies it for an exemption from stages 1 and 2 of load shedding. 

This Kelvin deal is envisioned to reproduce the same effect of the City of Cape Town's Steenbras pumped storage scheme - which offsets load shedding during lower stages one and two. The City of Cape Town, for example, by relying on Steenbras, can at times keep its customers at one load shedding stage lower than the rest of the country. 

The City of Johannesburg, through its municipal power utility, City Power, had written a letter to Eskom to notify the national power utility of the added capacity.

"When the City first reached out to Eskom to indicate our additional supply capacity, we were asked for proof in this regard, which we accordingly presented. However, the City never heard from Eskom thereafter until the announcement of the latest scheduled load shedding from this evening to Monday morning," Moerane said. 

"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,” Moerane said. “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." 

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