Maintenance backlog causing Joburg power outages

Some parts of Johannesburg have been hit by power outages over the last two weeks.

Eskom has informed the residents that it has not initiated any load shedding process. This has left residents in the dark as no one has claimed responsibility for the outages.

While working for Treasury as a director for energy, Ronald Chauke issued a warning about the maintenance backlog.

The situation is that City Power has a challenge where they say they are rotating the load and all in all to be honest with you, is an issue where they're having technical problems where they can't meet the demands of the city.

Ronald Chauke, Energy Activist and Outa’s portfolio manager for energy

READ: City Power hard at work to restore power supply to affected Joburg areas

All in all, countrywide the maintenance backlog of electricity distribution infrastructure, it stands at about R32 billion meaning that most of the electricity suppliers have been generating money and making money out of electricity sales but they have been investing less in the maintenance, refurbishment and upgrading of those electricity networks.

Ronald Chauke, Energy Activist and Outa’s portfolio manager for energy

READ: Joburg residents to pay higher tariffs from July

However, MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services Nico De Jager says they have started upgrading a substation that will solve almost all the outages in Johannesburg.

We've got a substation that was supposed to be upgraded in 2006, that's an Eskom substation where we take in power for our substations.

Nico De Jager, MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services

We started with the process of upgrading and now we are near completion, by November that substation will be fully complete.

Nico De Jager, MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services

De Jager says they contacted City Power to up their game in communicating with the residents on when there will be power outages.

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