The ANC-led Johannesburg’s claims that the new deal between the City and the Kelvin Power Station would help protect residents of loadshedding is disingenuous and pure desperate electioneering.
This follows reports from News24 and Business Day who quoted City Power spokesperson, Isaac Mangena as suggesting that this deal will help the Johannesburg Municipality protect residents from loadshedding.
The ‘new deal’ which in essence, is just a glorified two year extension of an existing contract between the City and Kelvin, would not help offset loadshedding and protect residents as claimed.
The current 20 year contract between the two parties which is set to expire in November, only in practical terms saw Kelvin supplying a maximum range of 150 to 250MW, with a daily average of 180MW to the City over the past few years.
At the moment, with Eskom at maximum capacity, their supply to Johannesburg still falls short of 150MW to keep supply afloat for the City. This is where Kelvin’s current average daily supply of 180MW helps keep the lights on, during non-loadshedding times.
The extension of this contract will only see a maximum supply of 180MW a day. In order for the City to offset loadshedding, Kelvin would need to supply at least between 250-300MW a day.
Further to this, the extension of the contract will only be for two years, in accordance with the Municipal Financial Management Act. Taking into account that Kelvin is set for decommissioning in 2026 according to the Integrated Resources Plan of 2019, Kelvin would not be a suitable or long-term sustainable source to offset and free residents of Eskom-loadshedding.
At the moment, Kelvin is also having their own challenges. Their Plant A has been decommissioned and now relies on Plant B to supplement. This is why Kelvin simply cannot supply Johannesburg with more power than what they are providing now. In a normal scenario, a fully functional plant A and B of Kelvin would have a combined capacity of 600MW.
In reality, even with the two years extension, Kelvin will not be able to help Johannesburg offset loadshedding for residents in the short-term.
The DA wants to bring stability to the supply of electricity in Johannesburg, and would do this by actively addressing the backlog of City Power infrastructure, by ensuring adequate budgeting every financial year to repair and maintain ageing equipment, while only agreeing to take over Eskom-supply areas once Eskom has repaired and upgraded their infrastructure in places such as Soweto, Orange Farm and Ivory Park. Further to this, under no circumstances will a DA-led Johannesburg inherit any outstanding debt owed to Eskom whatsoever.
A move like this would give City Power full control over electricity supply across Johannesburg, and enable the DA to move forward with procuring supply from a wider and diverse pool of independent power producers, so that residents no longer have to be solely reliant on Eskom and can start being freed of loadshedding.
Embracing private sector competition would also help drive down the costs of electricity for residents, so that they can keep more money in their pockets.
Only a DA government will get things done in the City of Gold and free the residents of Eskom loadshedding.