Cape Town and Johannesburg have joined forces to end their dependency on Eskom power as soon as possible amid ongoing power outages this week.
Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said, a delegation from both cities met to discuss a plan that will be fully operational once load shedding above Level 4 is announced.
The Johannesburg delegation included Michael Sun, a member of the Mayors Committee for Environment and Infrastructure Services, City Power acting CEO Tshifularo Mashava, Energy Director at City Power Meyrick Ramatlo, and other officials.
Hill-Lewis said the delegations toured the Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme, which will provide electricity of Cape Town during peak periods.
“This will allow for up to two tiers of load shedding offload,” Hill-Lewis said in a statement.
“The city has the capacity ity of Steenbras ‘saved’ by not offering residents load shedding relief for the past few days. This is due to the urgent need to run Steenbras at full capacity to protect infrastructure.”
He said the past Stage 6 power outages have exposed critical infrastructure – from power plants to water and sewerage facilities and facilities to communications towers – was under serious threat.
According to Hill-Lewis, there is a possibility of a Level 8, which would pose serious threats to substations, circuit breakers, sewage treatment plants, water pumps, cell towers and other infrastructure.< /p>
“The long downtime will greatly increase the risk of theft and vandalism of copper wire and other assets,” he said.
He said both cities agreed they had no other choice remains urgent to end dependence on Eskom-generated energy and implement measures to reduce demand.
“In the course of sharing best practices with colleagues in Johannesbur g this week, Cape Town will draw on Johannesburg’s research and expertise in demand-side management.
“Should high periods of load shedding persist, the threat to critical infrastructure and the Suffering that will result from the economic recession will, in my view, pose a similar emergency to Cape Town’s 2017/18 drought and the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Hill-Lewis.
“We are going legal Seek advice on the appropriateness of forcing the city to comply with all onerous requirements of procurement procedures imposed by national legislation in these emergency situations.”
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