Municipalities must generate own electricity

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OWEN KOCK

Power utility Eskom has moved its power cuts from stage one to two late on Monday, leaving consumers to scramble as they tried to comprehend stage one power cuts.

"Load shedding has moved from stage 1 to stage 2 as of 3pm," Eskom tweeted via the social network Twitter.
Power cuts would continue until 10pm, it said.
Stage one allows for up to 1000MW of the national load to be shed, stage two for up to 2000MW, and stage three for up to 4000MW.

An expert compared the 2000MW to the city of Durban, so one can imagine what impact it could have on any business on any given time, let alone households with babies and families coming home from work.
It was said that Eskom managers were apparently in an emergency meeting on Monday, only to announce on Tuesday morning that more power cuts could be expected.

Earlier, Eskom said the power system was severely constrained due to unforeseen technical problems at power stations.
It asked shopping centres and office blocks to switch off non-essential lights and put photocopy machines and computers on standby after hours, and for people to switch off geysers, air-conditioners, pool pumps, and all non-essential appliances.
Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger on Tuesday morning said the grid was exceptionally tight, that there’s a medium to high chance of load shedding for the day if they do see further technical challenges developing.

He said 25% of Eskom’s generator capacity was not operational due to technical problems. He could not confirm or deny whether the power utility would need to implement stage three of power cuts.

"We will implement the stage necessary in order to protect the grid. We won’t go to stage three unless it is absolutely necessary."
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Mangaung Metro Municipality, Mxolisi Siyonzana, told Courant, the problem of load shedding should not only be addressed by the Metro, but all of South Africa.

Siyonzana said in the past municipalities used to generate electricity themselves, but legislation resulted in a monopoly in the generation of electricity, being Eskom. He said the situation needs changing and soon.

"We need to make sure that bigger municipalities are able to generate their own electricity to reduce the burden on Eskom. You have power stations in Johannesburg, in Kroonstad and in many other cities. At the moment the monopoly of electricity is Eskom. I know it is one of President Zuma’s priorities to deal with issues of energy and power," Siyonzana said.

owen@centralmediagroup.co.za