- Gauteng provincial government and municipality met with local financial institutions and researchers this week to find ways to remove Eskom’s loadshedding burden from the province.
- One solution being carried out by City Power is the installation of solar-powered street lights, launching in March.
- Meanwhile, the Western Cape is actively engaged in similar steps to reduce its own loadshedding.
South Africans are bracing for more loadshedding in 2023 than ever before. Since the beginning of the year, the country has faced blackouts without end and it is wreaking havoc on businesses small and large alike.
With the current loadshedding schedule at Stages 3 and 4 every day, the country’s economy is losing more than R204 million every day, according to data released by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
According to Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, the country’s economic centre is urgently looking for ways to ease the loadshedding burden in the province.
“The plan is to procure the best products available in the market within the shortest possible time,” Lesufi told Times Live at the Gauteng Energy Expo held on Thursday.
“We also want to link up investors with those who have renewable energy projects in the province.”
Local government and municipality representatives, financial institutions and researchers in the energy space convened at the Expo in Bryanston, Johannesburg, to formulate a plan in reducing the province’s dependence on Eskom’s faltering power grid.
“At this stage we are building a firm foundation so there can be no load-shedding in Gauteng,” shared the premier, adding that “There is overwhelming appetite from government to invest in new generation.”
One new initiative that is being undertaken in this regard comes by the way of Johannesburg electric infrastructure company City Power.
According to City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava, the company has started installing solar-powered street lights in an initiative aimed at ensuring that areas remain well-lit during loadshedding periods in Gauteng. Reducing the risk of criminal activity.
Currently, Mashava details that the project saying it, “will be spread out in the City of Johannesburg. We are looking at areas that are more vulnerable, either through vandalism or those switched off by Eskom and the entire area is dark.”
“We are looking at starting in areas around university campuses. We want those areas well-lit so criminals cannot attack our students.”
According to the CEO, the first of these solar-powered lights will be switched on in March.
Gauteng’s efforts into finding provincial solutions for loadshedding mirror those being undertaken by the Western Cape.
Its own premier, Alan Winde, has said that the coastal province is “working tirelessly” to invest in solar power to mitigate the impact of Eskom’s loadshedding.
Last year, 41 Western Cape schools began installing solar panelling and other infrastructure to stave off the effects of blackouts on students. This particular initiative cost the province R46 million.
A State of Disaster has been declared by national government in order to address loadshedding, which will be implemented continuously for the next two years by Eskom to avoid further damage to its power grid.
Those living in Gauteng may feel that burden less if provincial plans do eventually come to fruition.