The City of Johannesburg says the recent round of load shedding has had a detrimental effect on its power infrastructure.

In a statement released last week while Eskom implemented load shedding round the country, the City confirmed that as one of the biggest utilities depending on power supply from Eskom, it was being severely affected by unprecedented load shedding.

“The reality is that both financial and operational damage is being done, and this will be felt even after load shedding stops,” explained Nico de Jager, MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services.

Ageing infrastructure

De Jager said that City Power’s operational staff are overstretched and always on standby to deal with the restoration of power and after-effects of load shedding, as seen during the week however rebooting the power grids is to the detriment of already aged infrastructure and will lead to a failure risk of said infrastructure.

“The reality is that we have inherited infrastructure that was not regularly maintained, with the backlog standing at R170 billion. This means that whenever it rains, and restorations occur after load shedding, the power system gets weakened and the depots are inundated with power outage reports.

“Adding to this, whenever there is load shedding the aged network also takes extreme strain due to the massive load shifting and insurge happening when Eskom cuts and restores the power,” he highlighted.

Budgets allocated

De Jager added that the City was working hard to ensure that its resources were ready and available to address any challenges brought about by load shedding.

“Budgets have been allocated to ensure we address the maintenance backlog and we refurbish and build new bulk infrastructure.

“We have invested heavily to ensure that the problems of regular outages and unnecessary trips are avoided or eliminated totally,” he concluded.