Jo’burg In About-Turn, Load-Shedding Is Back

Eskom has strong-armed the City of Johannesburg to agree to implement load-shedding from Monday night after initially refusing to do so.

At the weekend City Power – the City of Johannesburg’s power utility – refused to implement the load-shedding schedule imposed by Eskom.

Johannesburg’s new Mayor Mpo Moerane boldly declared he was “prepared to go the legal route to halt Eskom’s blanket heavy-handedness”.

But in an about-turn on Monday Eskom and City Power said they have agreed to work together in the national interest and to protect the national grid.

“City Power will follow and implement the directive of the System Operator, and implement load-shedding on its customers in the City of Johannesburg as required,” said a joint statement from the two entities.

“The collective understanding by both entities is to protect the national power grid while reducing the impact of load-shedding.

“Eskom and City Power will continue searching for a lasting technical solution which would result in City Power customers in the City of Johannesburg being partially excluded from load-shedding.”

City Power has entered into a power purchase agreement with the Kelvin Power Station, which will enable it to draw additional capacity to offset the first two stages of load-shedding.

“After concluding the transaction, City Power wrote to Eskom a few days ago requesting to be excluded from load-shedding at Stages 1 and 2,” said Isaac Mangena, the City Power spokesperson.

“Technical teams from both Eskom and City Power will continue to consider the technical aspects of the Kelvin Power Station and verify the additional capacity that can be added to the national grid.

“The teams will also explore technical possibilities that may see the City of Johannesburg partially or fully shielded from load-shedding in future.”