City Power migrates from four-hour load-shedding schedule to two-hour schedule

05 February 2021 - 21:36 By shonisani tshikalange
City Power has announced that it will be migrating from the current four-hour Load-shedding schedule to a two-hour schedule .
City Power has announced that it will be migrating from the current four-hour Load-shedding schedule to a two-hour schedule .
Image: Alon Skuy

City Power will be migrating from its current four-hour load-shedding schedule to a two hour schedule, effective immediately, it announced on Friday.

Spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the city apologises for any inconvenience caused and that it is aware the short notice changes do not allow customers to plan their lives or for their businesses.

“It is however at this stage important to note that load-shedding is as a result of network constraints on the Eskom network. While City Power does not want to load shed its customers, we are often, like now, forced to implement load-shedding as and when Eskom experiences network challenges on their side, as they have encountered coal supply challenges today,” he said.

Mangena said the City Power technical team had, in recent weeks, been in discussions with Eskom to align its load-shedding schedule with theirs.

“This was to result in City Power migrating from our current four-hour schedule to the two-hour schedule similar to that of Eskom. In preparation for this, we developed a two-hour schedule which we were preparing to discuss, communicate and workshop with you, our customers, as we do before making any business changes that affect you and your lives,” he said.

He said the plan to align the schedule and communicate the new schedule with customers was overtaken by generation and supply challenges.

“The talks with Eskom and the plan towards aligning our load-shedding schedules and to communicate the new schedule with you before its implementation, have been overtaken by power generation and supply challenges on the Eskom side which have now compelled us to implement a two-hour load-shedding schedule before embarking on a proper engagement and communications with you as the customer. We now have to communicate the two-hour load-shedding schedule as we implement it and we understand the inconvenience and shock it causes to you and your business and for that, we apologise,” he said.

Mangena said the two-hour load-shedding schedule was now in effect across the City of Johannesburg.

Meanwhile, Eskom has announced that stage 2 load-shedding will be implemented from 12pm on Friday until 11pm on Sunday.

The energy utility said the load-shedding has been worsened by the forced shutdown of five generating units at the Medupi power station as a result of the inability to get coal into the units due to the heavy rain in the Lephalale area on Thursday night.

While City Power battles an electricity crisis, crime has also added to its service delivery woes.

In a separate statement, the power provider said criminals had stolen a transformer worth over half a million rand in Johannesburg in broad daylight.

People posing as City Power technicians made off with a transformer in Johannesburg earlier this week.
People posing as City Power technicians made off with a transformer in Johannesburg earlier this week.
Image: Supplied / City Power

“From our preliminary analysis, it is evident that this is organised crime collaborated by both insider and outsider threats. Firstly, a commercial vehicle bearing a sticker of City Power contractor visited the scene — as a form of criminal reconnaissance,” said City Power's general manager on security risk management, Sergeant Thela.

“Later on, a crane truck bearing a false registration number came and removed the transformer on the pretext that it was taken for repairs. This is shocking. We need help to identify the suspects so that they can be arrested,” he added.

City Power has called on anyone with information to contact the police or their security risk management control room on 011 490 7900, 011 490 7911, 011 490 7553.

There, has however, been some success with catching criminals stealing or damaging City Power property.

Acting CEO Nancy Maluleke welcomed the 15-year jail term handed to a criminal who damaged City Power electricity network infrastructure in an attempt to steal copper cables.

He was convicted last month after being arrested in July 2020 when he was caught fiddling with a mini-substation in the Parkview area.

“I am pleased with the dedication of the SAPS investigators and our security experts who supported the investigators and the prosecutorial process to achieve such a fitting sentence,” said Malulek.

“City Power spends more than R1bn annually to repair and maintain electricity outages mainly caused by criminal activities of this nature,” she added.

“City Power is asking the community to come forward with information of people who broke into our transformer substation near Selby and stole a transformer worth R600,000,” City Power said.

The theft is alleged to have happened on Tuesday.

“The criminals took advantage of a technical outage in the area on Tuesday, and brought a crane truck in the daylight and removed the transformer,” City Power said.

“According to witnesses, the suspects told nearby business people that the transformer was faulty and was being taken to City Power for repairs. A vigilant customer took photos of the truck and the two suspects and shared some with City Power security risk management the following day. By then it was too late because the suspects had already left the scene of the crime,” the power provider said.

This resulted in a three-day power outage.

City Power said elements of the crime pointed to it possibly being an inside job.