City Power has welcomed the support from national government in addressing the electricity challenges in the city of Johannesburg.
The regional power utility which is the biggest electricity consuming municipality met with the Minister of Electricity Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa on Friday to outline the challenges it is facing to cushion the impact of the deliberate power cuts on residents of the city.
City Power’s delegation was led by Board Chairperson Bonolo Ramokhele, CEO Tshifularo Mashava, Group Executive Meyrick Ramatlo and other senior managers and engineers.
City Power plans
The meeting comes after City Power announced that it will be implementing its ten-point plan with short and long-term solutions involving energy alternatives to cushion the residents from the impact of load shedding.
These include the onboarding of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) – both short and long term, the Installation of Rooftop Solar Systems and the recommissioning of Open Cycle Gas Turbines amongst others.
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While the main concern was Eskom‘s capacity to take the country through the winter peak and to avoid the higher stages of loadshedding, Ramokgopa recognised the role City Power’s efforts will have on the entire country in the fight against the power cuts.
“Your effect on the national picture is big. If we are to do with you what we intend to do, we will be able to deal with at least 2 stages of loadshedding across the country. With you on board I am confident we can avoid the worst,” Ramokgopa said.
Addressing impact of load shedding
Mashava said City Power has finished with the plans to address load shedding and is now on the implementation path.
“We are happy to say all the initiatives have started. We are in execution mode currently, with a new department created specifically to implement our plans. We have been hard at work crunching numbers, simulating, planning, and auditing what as far as infrastructure is concerned, works and what doesn’t.
Mashava added that the city of Johannesburg was working to relieve the residents from the impact of load shedding and the cost of electricity.
“The solutions that we are talking about are just going to result in energy poverty at the end of the day because the residents are just not going to afford those things. So, what we started doing is to be able to diversify our mandate, move some from electricity to gas. We want to be this energy services provider for the City,” she said.
Load shedding reduction
On Thursday, City Power said it will exclude key customers, essential services and some businesses from load shedding and is also eliminating the “4-hour-long” power cuts.
The announcement was made by Johannesburg Environment Infrastructure Services MMC Jack Sekwaila.
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