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While Eskom’s latest round of load shedding has had a major effect on Johannesburg’s residents and businesses, the city’s power utility, City Power, said theft and vandalism have added to the burden of power cuts. This comes after Eskom announced stage 2 load shedding on Thursday with the likelihood it would carry on into the weekend. Eskom attributed the reasons for the power cuts to a shortage of capacity and increased demand for electricity. City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said load shedding had a huge impact on the city “especially on old power cables, transformers and switchgear”. He added that...
While Eskom’s latest round of load shedding has had a major effect on Johannesburg’s residents and businesses, the city’s power utility, City Power, said theft and vandalism have added to the burden of power cuts.

This comes after Eskom announced stage 2 load shedding on Thursday with the likelihood it would carry on into the weekend.

Eskom attributed the reasons for the power cuts to a shortage of capacity and increased demand for electricity.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said load shedding had a huge impact on the city “especially on old power cables, transformers and switchgear”.

He added that power cuts in the city were also due to “an element of copper thieves taking advantage of the situation when the lights are out”.

Of recent power outages, “this happened in Lenasia which had no electricity the whole of Friday (yesterday) since the morning and we are hoping to restore early evening after repairs. More cable theft happened in Roodepoort where multiple cables were stolen.

“These cost the city a lot of money. We can only calculate the monetary impact when the load shedding crisis is over.

“The reality is that the effects of load shedding are financially and operationally costly to City Power. It is during this time of load shedding when City Power infrastructure not only takes a serious knock, but we also lose money.”

He said there were three areas of losses for City Power. These include infrastructure issues forcing it to pay workers overtime to restore substations that are down after load shedding.

They faced further challenges with equipment “which either fail during restoration, or the transformers or mini substations that explode during electricity surges”.

He said transformers were not meant to be switched on and off and it only added to the detriment of already ageing infrastructure.

Lastly, he said “we also experience the loss of revenue which we would have made if we were selling electricity to customers. These losses do not include the billions of rands lost by businesses across Joburg during load shedding”.

jenniffero@citizen.co.za

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