Mayor Moerane to Eskom: JHB deserves special treatment regarding load shedding
JOHANENSBURG - Joburg Mayor Mpho Moerane said the city deserved special treatment from Eskom regarding load shedding.
Moerane was speaking at the launch of the city’s energy mix plan on Monday as it works on exploring gas and solar power sources in its solutions to the rolling power cuts.
Joburg has been at odds with Eskom over load shedding after the conclusion of the two year power purchase agreement from the Kelvin Power Station, which will provide an additional 220 megawatts to the city.
Moerane said given the hefty amount of money the city paid to Eskom every month, an alternative arrangement should be made for it to ensure continuous provision of power to its residents and businesses.
“The city is a key customer of Eskom. We pay almost over R1 billion a month for the electricity that we get from Eskom, so we deserve some kind of special treatment that Eskom must also think for our residents who are paying especially in affluent areas.”
The mayor has been on a collision course with Eskom since he came into office as the election year pressure mounted with politicians desperate to come up with solutions to the electricity crisis.
Even the energy-mix launch held on Monday is admittedly based on feasibility studies that have been undertaken in past years.
He said the strategy would help the city deliver on its 2030 target of accessing 35% of its power from clean energy sources.
AN ELECTIONEERING GIMICK?
Moerane has denied that the metro’s tussle with Eskom over electricity is politically motivated in the light of the upcoming elections.
The rush to reassure residents of electricity supply security has largely been viewed as an electioneering gimmick meant to lull voters into believing the city’s coalition government, led by the ANC, is finding novel solutions to the load shedding crisis.
Moerane insists that the city has a plan to ensure that it will provide a solution to the residents of Johannesburg and it’s not just for electioneering.
He said the energy-mix strategy was part of City Power’s turnaround strategy, which was implemented almost two years ago.
“They have been working on the strategy since then. It is only now that City Power is doing public participation in terms of the RFI this week. It's work that has been going on; it’s a coincidence, I can assure you it is not electioneering.”
The city’s energy mix strategy includes the sourcing of 200 megawatts of electricity from photovoltaic farms and rooftop suppliers.
The overall strategy is meant to source 500 megawatts of new generation capacity and will likely be online in three years.
This article first appeared on EWN : Mayor Moerane to Eskom: JHB deserves special treatment regarding load shedding