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Mashaba promises to end Joburg's disabling blackouts, power of Kelvin Power Station's eyes


Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba plans to negotiate a contract with the independent Kelvin coal plant near OR Tambo International Airport as a possible solution to the city's blackouts.

During his State of the City address delivered to Braamfontein on Tuesday, Mashaba said that Johannesburg's dependence on Eskom for its power is a disaster the city now has to mitigate.

"The spill of cargo in the coming years is a reality, but the government clearly has no plans (to deal with the electricity crisis)," Mashaba said. The city's plans to provide electricity from the Kelvin Power Station – one of the few that are not owned by Eskom – have failed in the past.

"In December 2018 we received a letter from Eskom stating that the city could not compensate our load restriction requirements with the power generated from the Kelvin power station," he said.

Mashaba, however, said that the legal staff of the city of Johannesburg will approach the courts to find a way to mitigate the blackouts in the city.

New Contract

"My intention goes beyond that (approaching the courts)," Mashaba said in his speech.

"I dispatched a city team to contact Kelvin (Power Station) to see if a new contract could be negotiated to increase their production and sell to the city at a cheaper rate than Eskom," he said.

Should a new contract be implemented, the city has the license to acquire 600MW from Kelvin, which has the ability to avoid all cargo shedding, including step 6, Mashaba said.

In his speech, Mashaba was stern with Eskom and the damage he inflicted on the city's businesses and residents.

"Eskom did not do favors to the city of Johannesburg," he said.

While the residents and businesses were left in the dark, there were no Eskom briefings, projections or warranties.

"Our aging infrastructure, predictably, did not go well with the power being switched on and off repeatedly and we were left with secondary interruptions due to the damage," Mashaba said.

In March, the electric power utility implemented the stage 4 cargo shedding, which resulted in rotational power cuts, leaving hundreds of residents and businesses in limbo.

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