City Power, Johannesburg’s municipal electricity company, has walked back a claim it made at the weekend that it wasn’t imposing load shedding on residents.
The company said its recent agreement with the privately owned Kelvin Power Station would save Johannesburg from Eskom’s power cuts, provided they stayed at stage 2 or lower.
Read more on the latest Eskom developments here.
But it now seems City Power wasn’t in a position to make that claim (at least not yet) and, in a joint statement with Eskom on Monday, it backpedalled, saying: “City Power and Eskom have agreed to work together to protect power grid in the national interest.
“City Power will follow and implement the directive of the system operator (Eskom) and implement load shedding on its customers in the City of Johannesburg as required.”
The claim by City Power that it wasn’t implementing load shedding was met with astonishment on social media, with many residents pointing out that their power had been cut in line with the load shedding schedules.
The City Power claim came just a week ahead of South Africans going to the polls in the local government elections.
“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,” the joint statement said.
“To achieve this end, City Power … has entered into a power-purchase agreement with the Kelvin Power Station, which will enable City Power 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. 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 statement added.
“The teams will also explore technical possibilities that may see City of Johannesburg partially shielded from load shedding in future.”
Duncan McLeod is editor of TechCentral, on which this article was first published here.
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