It may surprise you but the City of Joburg is getting tired of all this load shedding, just like the rest of us. New city mayor Mpho Moerane said the city will move ahead with plans to source alternative sources of power in an attempt to lessen the current reliance on Eskom.
Now, while that might sound like a great idea, its implementation and the success thereof is another story.
According to eNCA via BusinessTech, the strategy entails sourcing 200MW of electricity from solar farms and another 200MW from ‘wheeling and trading’. Wheeling refers to the act of buying additional electricity from external generators and distributing it using Eskom’s existing infrastructure.
In total, this strategy seeks to gain an additional 500MW which, according to Moerane, will allow the city to switch to alternative energy sources. Again, that might sound like Joburg is going green but we’re going to need a whole lot more than that to make a real difference. But then that, unfortunately, isn’t really the aim here.
Load shedding is probably going to get worse before it gets better
Moerane said bids from private power generators could start as early as this week but Joburg residents would only start seeing a real difference in the next three years. “It is not about electioneering or 1 November. We want to show the people of the city that we have a plan and that there is a sustainable power supply for our residents.” Of course, he would say that.
When Eskom implemented the latest round of load shedding, residents of Joburg thought they may have dodged a bullet when City Power said it would not need to participate as it had acquired enough additional power. There must’ve been some misunderstanding somewhere because City Power came back the next day with the bad news that Joburg would not be exempt.
The small optimistic part of us wants to believe what Moerane is saying and that this could be the start of the turnaround, for Joburg at least. But that small part is slowly being smothered by the larger cynical part with a pillow in the dark because it’s stage 4 load shedding now.
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