City Power threatens legal action if Eskom keeps load-shedding Joburg… Johannesburg’s City Power is seeing red over Eskom’s refusal to exempt it from load-shedding.
The municipality’s electricity utility has expressed disappointment in Eskom’s failure to recognise its “efforts and contribution to alleviate the constraints on the national grid”.
In a letter on Friday to Des Govender, Eskom’s general manager in Gauteng, City Power CEO Nancy Maluleke did not mince her words. She urged Eskom to reconsider the decision, failing which City Power will consider legal action.
According to Maluleke, Eskom says the 180MW generated by the city’s Kelvin Power Station is part of City Power’s baseload and cannot be considered when deciding to exclude Johannesburg from load-shedding.
Eskom says it will consider an exemption if Kelvin produces more than 180MW but doubts its ability to do so given its “historic performance”.
Maluleke wrote: “City Power wishes to express its disappointment that Eskom does not seem to recognise City Power’s efforts and contribution to alleviate the constraints on the national grid.”
She said the supply of electricity from Kelvin is funded by City Power and Johannesburg ratepayers without any Eskom involvement.
Maluleke complained that municipalities with no electricity generation and supply initiatives “are treated the same as City Power”.
“Eskom’s expectation and continued benefit of City Power’s contribution to the national grid without any form of load-shedding exemption or partial exemption amount to an unfair and unequal treatment of City of Johannesburg’s residents,” she said.
“City Power substantially contributes to the overall sustenance of Eskom as compared to other customers. Such a huge financial contribution to the Eskom coffers should surely count for something when Eskom implements its stage 1 and 2 load-shedding.”
Maluleke went on to address the technical issues raised by Eskom.
“City Power reiterates its commitment to the alleviation of the electricity network constraints in the national interest,” she said.
“Our commitment, however, should not unduly disadvantage residents of the City of Johannesburg when Eskom can genuinely find alternative means to recognise the benefit that City Power brings.
“Eskom is once more requested to consider its position … and meaningfully engage with City Power for a mutually beneficial resolution of this matter.
“[Otherwise] City Power will have no alternative but to consider other legal remedies to protect the interest of the City of Johannesburg residents.”
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