Eskom has assumed full responsibility for implementing load shedding in the City of Ekurhuleni on Johannesburg’s East Rand.
According to a statement on the municipality’s website, it received a letter from Eskom informing it that all customers will now be affected by load shedding in line with the new directive.
“Eskom will immediately implement load shedding at all the stations that were handed over to the city in line with the obligations … to protect the integrity and stability of the national grid,” reads the letter from Eskom to the city.
Eskom says the decision to take over load shedding in Ekurhuleni follows monitoring and analysis conducted by Eskom that indicates that the metro is not reducing the load as required. The power utility says it has engaged the metro regarding its failure to load-shed its customers on numerous occasions.
Although Eskom says it notes Ekurhuleni’s technical challenges in executing load shedding, it is left with no choice but to implement power cuts as the municipality’s non-compliance puts further strain on the already constrained national grid.
“Failure to implement load shedding by municipalities affects the integrity and stability of the grid, which may lead to higher stages of load shedding. Eskom appeals to the members of the public to assist in reducing demand by switching off nonessential appliances such as geysers and pool pumps as this lowers demand and helps in alleviating the pressure on the power system and contributes to lower stages of load shedding,” it stated.
In the meantime, Ekurhuleni has requested Eskom not to shed some of our critical substations in areas with a high concentration of large industries because this will not only impact the economy of the region but also threaten jobs.
“We are an economic hub and therefore we are looking forward to positive engagements with the power utility ,bearing in mind the valuable contribution of industry to the economy,” said metro spokesman Zweli Dlamini.
The city will be proposing load curtailment during negotiations with Eskom. Load curtailment is the load reduction obtained from customers who can reduce demand on instruction. This also means that in the event of an emergency declaration, industrial customers must be able to reduce their load by a certain percentage.
According to Eskom, last year Ekurhuleni paid a partial amount of R530-million of its bulk account of R1.1-billion due. The amount of R544-million remains outstanding and Eskom expects the city to pay the overdue amount. This is in breach of the electricity supply agreement between Eskom and the city, and it places a significant strain on the utility’s financial performance and sustainability. – © 2023 NewsCentral Media