Since 12 April, stage 6 loadshedding was again imposed on the nation, with Eskom citing capacity constraints.
The previous DA-led administration under former Executive Mayor Dr. Mpho Phalatse had a practical and actionable plan to save Joburg residents and businesses from loadshedding. With a budget of R 401 million announced in January, the City would have been able to reduce loadshedding by 3 stages for its residents and businesses. However, since the ANC-EFF coalition took power in Johannesburg no progress has been made.
Whilst I was the MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services (EIS), City Power and my team worked tirelessly for 8 months to develop the Alternative Energy Management strategy (AEM strategy) which incorporated the Independent Power Producers procurement program (IPP program), together with supporting programs, so that the city would be able to avert loadshedding substantially and be less dependent on Eskom.
If the AEM strategy and the IPP program had been done quickly by the new administration, the residential and commercial sectors in the City would have experienced fewer stages of loadshedding right now.
The DA in Johannesburg understands that the closing date of the IPP program was extended to 31 March but to date, the City’s not-so-new executives have not reported back nor have they taken the residents into confidence on the progress. The City remains in the “dark” as to whether the AEM strategy, the IPP program and the supporting strategies will continue and receive the required resources and support for implementation.
We call on Mayor Amad Thapelo together with his MMC: EIS to urgently release a progress report on the IPP program and their plan to reduce loadshedding in the City, even if it means that they need to admit the continuation of the AEM project and IPP program developed under the DA-led administration, it would be to the benefit of everyone in the City.
The DA caucus in Joburg will continue to hold the executive to account and ensure that non-negotiable issues such as maintaining a constant power supply are not ignored for political reasons. Written questions and an urgent debate in council will be submitted to ensure that these long-overdue answers are not concealed from the people of Johannesburg.