City Power refuses to load shed its customers in Joburg

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  • Johannesburg municipal power utility City Power says it will not load shed its customers.
  • It believes a new deal with a private power station should supply enough additional electricity to shield it from load shedding. 
  • Most residents in Soweto, Sandton, Diepsloot, Ivory Park and Orange Farm are direct Eskom customers, and will still be affected by load shedding.  

City Power says its customers will not be affected by load shedding in the coming days, as it believes a new power provision deal should be able to cushion them.

"City Power would like to inform its customers that we are not going to be load shedding them as per Eskom's directive," it said in a statement.

The utility supplied electricity to 80% of the city, a City of Johannesburg spokesperson told Fin24.

But most residents in Soweto, Sandton, Diepsloot, Ivory Park and Orange Farm still get their power directly from Eskom, and will be hit by load shedding.

South Africa is currently experiencing Stage 2 load shedding, which will be suspended at 05:00 on Monday. It will then resume at 21:00 on Monday until 05:00 on Tuesday. In addition, more Stage 2 load shedding is planned from 21:00 on Tuesday to 05:00 on Wednesday.

The City of Johannesburg recently struck a deal to get an additional 220MW from the privately owned Kelvin power station.

"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 stages 1 and 2," City Power said.

In a statement on Saturday night, Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Moerane said the City "rejects" the latest round of load shedding, and threatened Eskom with legal action.

Moerane said City Power had written a letter to Eskom to notify the national power utility of the added capacity from the Kelvin power station.

"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," he added, saying it never heard back from Eskom.

On Sunday, Eskom declined to comment on City Power's announcement it would not implement load shedding.

The 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 1 and 2.

The City, for example, by relying on Steenbras, can at times keep its customers at one load shedding stage lower than the rest of the country. 

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