The City of Johannesburg, facing an energy supply and energy infrastructure crisis, is turning to the private sector for urgent help.
This was the message from Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse, who opened the city’s first Energy Indaba on Monday, which is aimed at finding solutions to what appear to be insurmountable challenges.
One of the key priorities highlighted in the mayor’s address was the urgent need to stabilise energy supply in the city.
Phalatse believes that the fear of losing revenue has prevented the city from allowing the private sector to help solve the energy crisis.
“For the city to be able to meet its energy requirements in the shortest possible time, very close collaboration is necessary with the private sector for the requisite investments to materialise,” the mayor said.
Outlining the scale of the problem, she said City Power has outlined a R26-billion plan to fix its infrastructure. Yet the city will have a total capital budget of R7.7-billion in the next financial year, beginning on 1 July, which includes water, electricity, road infrastructure, social infrastructure and more.
“There is no way, as the city alone, we will be able to turn around the energy supply situation in Johannesburg,” said Phalatse.
Johannesburg businesses and residents suffer regular power outages due to the ageing and dilapidated state of City Power’s infrastructure. Load shedding by Eskom has added considerably to the city’s woes, with the systems not able to cope with the constant switching cycling of power.
Phalatse used her address to outline some of the energy options that the city considering:
- Gas and associated infrastructure, which will include the building of more infrastructure to supplement what Egoli Gas and Sasol provide. This will expand the gas market for the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
- Renewable energy, which includes solar, is also being considered. The mayor noted that as electricity tariffs rise, there will be more rooftop PV systems installed, which will reduce the city’s energy revenues.
- The city will need to procure more clean-energy generation from independent power producers to augment Eskom supply. – © 2022 NewsCentral Media