City of Johannesburg seeks urgent exemption from Eskom power outages

The City of Johannesburg, South Africa’s commercial capital, asked state power utility Eskom for a three-day exemption from continuing outages to enable the authorities to stabilise supply.

Flooding following recent heavy rains damaged power infrastructure and the city is unable to keep up with repairs, Environment and Infrastructure Services Department Councillor Michael Sun said in a statement on Monday. Eskom is currently removing 5 000 megawatts — a process known locally as load-shedding — from the national electricity grid, resulting in outages of at least two hours three times a day.

“Given the urgent need for City Power to attend to the widespread and escalating faults, the entity has expressed its concern that load-shedding is not only causing to additional faults and stress on the network, but also preventing the entity from being able to effectively attend to the outages and to stabilise the situation,” the city said in a statement. “It is a simple fact that power lines and infrastructure cannot be worked on when there is no power.”

The city is tending to more than 4 000 service calls resulting from damage to infrastructure that has left some areas without power for days.

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