Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg on Wednesday said it has begun formalising plans with key departments and entities to ensure that disruptions to City services were minimised to residents as a result of rolling black outs.

Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba, said the city receives little to no information from Eskom in respect of a medium term outlook on rolling blackouts.

"It is of great concern that provincial government, and bodies like [South African Local Government Association] Salga, remain silent on the lack of information coming to municipalities," said Mashaba.

He said this environment it would be irresponsible for the City of Johannesburg to have no comprehensive plan in terms of how it would respond to the current levels of load shedding, any escalation thereof and the worst-case scenario of a national blackout.

The City of Johannesburg has a responsibility to ensure that its essential services to our residents were interrupted to the minimum possible extent, he said.

"Already, we are experiencing a serious level of disruption to our normal services in terms of load shedding induced outages to our aged electrical infrastructure; damage to City Power sub-stations; water reservoirs running low due to an inability to pump water to high-lying areas to date Brixton Tower tends to experience challenges as a result of rolling black outs," said Mashaba.

"Traffic lights flashing red across the city once power is restored, repairing additional man power from the [Johannesburg Roads Agency] JRA. This in turn adds to higher traffic congestion levels. The city is required to redirect [Johannesburg Metro Police Department] JMPD officers from crime fighting duties to perform pointsmen duties as a result of load shedding."

Mashaba said about 224 officers were deployed to address congestion.

African News Agency (ANA)