Load Shedding could have been prevented for Joburg, but ESKOM deliberately derailed Plan

18 Oct 2019
ESKOM deliberately pushed for Load Shedding in Joburg

The Plot thickens! It seems it is not only an inability to plan and manage power in South Africa which ESKOM needs to be accused of, but also to sacrifice the well-being through access to electricity of all residents only to create electricity charges, which are overpriced and ill-called for.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has launched a scathing attack on Eskom, claiming that the state-run power utility is preventing a solution that could ensure no load-shedding for Johannesburg citizens. In a column on PoliticsWeb, Mashaba said that the City of Johannesburg received a letter in December 2018 from Eskom which rejected the city’s request to nullify its load-shedding issues by using power that is independently generated by the Kelvin Power Station.

“Kelvin Power Station is an independent power producer that the City had been contracted to for the procurement of additional electricity as and when required,” said Mashaba. However, upon Mashaba taking up office, Eskom withdrew from funding this arrangement and left the City of Johannesburg to foot the bill. “We have informed Eskom that we reject their position of refusing our request to offset load-shedding with independently generated power, and are willing to proceed to the courts to fight for the residents of Johannesburg to receive this benefit for which they are already paying,” said Mashaba.

“If our residents are paying for it, and it is not being generated by Eskom, there is no rational basis for preventing us from using the 200MW produced at Kelvin to mitigate the crippling effects of load-shedding.”

Preventing Load-Shedding

Mashaba said that no prior warning was issued to the City of Johannesburg by Eskom regarding the possibility of load-shedding returning.

According to Mashaba, the 200MW of power produced by Kelvin is the same amount that Johannesburg was required to shed during stage 2, meaning that if the use of this power had been allowed, Johannesburg residents may not have suffered load-shedding yesterday. Mashaba also highlighted the City of Johannesburg is engaging with the Kelvin Power Station to determine whether a new contract could be negotiated that increases the output of power and reduces the cost of this power to the City of Johannesburg. “If this is achieved, the City has the license to procure 600MW from Kelvin, which has the ability to prevent all load shedding up to, and including, Stage 6,” said Mashaba.

Mashaba lambasted the fact that South Africans are being punished by being forced to pay for the “failure and corruption that has crippled Eskom over many years”. According to Mashaba, Eskom’s tariffs have risen by a compounded 368% over the past decade. He also highlighted that when he opposed a 13.1% increase in electricity prices, Eskom responded to increase the tariff to 15%.

“It is inconceivable that the City of Johannesburg has the ability to protect its residents and economy from the crippling impacts of load-shedding, yet we are being frustrated from doing so.”

Call to Action

When are the residents, which are affected as well as all businesses are calling to arms? It is time that the government and the Board of ESKOM are held liable for their reckless management of all power-related affairs. Gwede mantashe should face a criminal enquiry and should be suspended with immediate effect from any public position and businesses should tally their losses due to deliberate Load-Shedding and lodge the claims against ESKOM, the Department of Energy, the Department of Public Enterprises and Minister Gwede Mantashe in person, held to be liable jointly for the damages they caused.

Where is Julius now when we need him? Where is his gang, which surely can sing a song pertaining to what is going on in the same loudness and with the same number of voices as when propagating their Anti-White-Farmer policy? It is time to tar and feather …..

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