File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Good news awaits Joburg City Power customers on load shedding, Cosatu slates Eskom’s Covid-19 excuses

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jan 18, 2021

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Johannesburg – There could be good news soon for City Power customers in Johannesburg – who are unfortunate to experience four-hour blocks of continuous load shedding, even under Stage 2.

The power utility said in a tweet on Monday it is negotiating with Johannesburg City Power to reduce the duration of load shedding.

“Due to the interconnectedness with City Power systems, Eskom is engaging with City Power to reduce the duration of load shedding as only areas in Johannesburg are currently experiencing four-hour load shedding,” Eskom said.

“We hope to have an update on this change during the course of the week.”

In other areas, load shedding is usually broken up into smaller blocks of around two hours each to reduce the maximum extended downtime caused by the rolling blackouts.

In Johannesburg, however, consumers often experience four-and-a-half-hour blocks of load shedding at a time – even under stage 2.

Eskom had originally planned to stop load shedding at 11pm yesterday, but it has been forced to continue implementing rolling blackouts due to its failure to return two generation units at the Kusile power station to service. It is currently implementing Stage 2 load shedding.

Meanwhile, Cosatu maintains Eskom cannot blame the coronavirus for failing to meet its obligation to supply power to the country, EWN reported.

Among others, Eskom said Covid-19 was having an impact on operations, with 48 contractors infected at the Medupi power station alone, affecting its ability to do their work as planned.

But Cosatu is having none of Eskom’s excuses, saying essential entities like Eskom should have put measures and plans in place.

Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said: "They've been given ample time to put protocols and systems in place to make sure that they avoid Covid-19 overhauling their systems.

’’But Eskom was saying the same thing in the fourth quarter of 2019, long before Covid-19 came to our shore, they're making the same excuses."

South Africans are having deal with stage 2 load shedding on Monday.

Eskom said it would update the country this afternoon on how long this current bout of rolling blackouts would last.


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