Johannesburg City Power said it is planning on excluding hospitals, water pumping stations, and other critical government infrastructure from load shedding.
The power utility recently took over the management of load shedding from Eskom.
City Power has also been appointed as an implementing agent for the Gauteng government’s R441 million Alternative Energy Action Plan, which plans on upgrading and recommissioning substations to mitigate the effects of load shedding.
On Thursday, officials from City Power and the provincial government visited the sites earmarked for the expansion.
Earlier in 2023, a group of political parties and civic organizations took Eskom to court to force it to exempt critical government facilities – like hospitals, schools, clinics, and others – from load shedding.
In response, Eskom said that due to the high number of such facilities across the country, it was not technically feasible.
However, City Power’s CEO, Tshifularo Mashava, said the utility covers a smaller area than Eskom and is only targeting critical buildings.
“When you exempt the hospitals, you should have additional load, or you are going to find yourself load shedding other people more than you should because you must still be able to give the 5% [to Eskom].”
Mashava said the utility aims to fully recommission the Karzene Open Cycle Gas Turbine by April, which is set to add 50 megawatts of power to the grid.
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