Eskom’s on-again-off-again relationship with Gauteng metro continues

  • Eskom has once again taken over the responsibility of loadshedding in the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE).
  • This is after the municipality has failed to abide by the code of practice regarding load reduction.
  • Both Eskom and CoE appear incapable of seeing eye-to-eye when it comes to the matter of loadshedding.

Much like romances in high school, Eskom and the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) appear to be on again off again when it comes to the matter of loadshedding.

It appears as if the latest turn is an off again as Eskom wrests control of loadshedding back from the East Rand municipality following a failure by CoE to adhere to the NRS 048-9:2019 code of practice [PDF]. This code of practice deals specifically with load reduction.

“Eskom brought to the attention of the City, on numerous occasions, its failure to loadshed its customers in keeping with the agreed regulations. On previous occasions, Eskom has taken back the role of loadshedding the CoE customers. The CoE then requested that Eskom hand back the implementation of loadshedding to the municipality with the commitment to honour the requirements of the code of practice,” the utility wrote in a media statement posted to X.

The most recent of these “previous occasions” was in July 2023. Eskom reclaimed the ability to loadshed the municipality’s customers. Less than a week later, however, CoE was once again in charge of loadshedding its customers.

Aside from the non-compliance with the code of practice, Eskom says that CoE’s reluctance to loadshed its customers adds further pressure to an already strained system.

CoE is yet to comment on Eskom’s decision. We suspect that CoE will defend its reluctance to cut power to its customers because many of those customers are large industrial businesses. Ekurhuleni’s key economic activities include manufacturing, farming, transport and logistics. As most of those industries require a consistent power supply, it would make sense as to why the municipality is hesitant to switch the lights off lest those customers seek to move their business elsewhere.

This decision by Eskom is also a warning to other municipalities that may not be abiding by loadshedding.

“Failure to implement loadshedding when required by all electricity distributors, including municipalities, undermines the integrity and stability of the grid, which may lead to higher stages of loadshedding,” Eskom said.

Eskom is in control of loadshedding for CoE as of today, 1st March.


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