Johannesburg needs $1.6bn for power supply, mayor says

However, the city only has R7.7 billion for a budget that includes other infrastructure such as water supply, she said.
Image: Bloomberg

Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city, needs R26 billion ($1.6 billion) to stabilise power supply by 2030 as recurrent outages inhibit economic activity, Mayor Mpho Phalatse said.

South Africa has been hit by intermittent power cuts since 2008 because Eskom, the state power utility, can’t meet demand. The country is on course to have a record number of outages this year.

Cape Town, the country’s second-largest city, is seeking proposals for the provision of 200 megawatts of power and may ultimately secure as much as 700 megawatts, city officials said in February. Durban, the third biggest, is seeking 400 megawatts.

The plan was presented by City Power, Johannesburg’s power distribution utility, Phalatse said at an energy conference on Monday. The metropolis of about five million people has an annual budget of just R7.7 billion for all infrastructure and will need additional funding from private developers, she said.

“City Power only gets about R1 billion of that,” said Tshifularo Mashava, the acting chief executive officer of City Power, at the same event.

Phalatse laid out a vision that would see the construction of gas infrastructure and renewable energy plants ranging from solar to biomass.

“In 2020 the volume of electricity produced by Eskom fell below the level that was produced in 2004,” she said. “This has a devastating impact on our plans as a city because without cost-effective and reliable power our city economy is unable to reach its full potential.”

© 2022 Bloomberg

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It is supposed to be a world-class African city. You don’t need electricity and water supply in such a city.

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