Herman Mashaba says he has a practical plan that can permanently address the issue of power cuts in Johannesburg. However, he will need Eskom to play ball.
As reported by Times Live, Mashaba revealed that he has requested a meeting with Eskom over the City of Johannesburg’s relationship with the independent power producer — Kelvin Power Pty (Ltd).
Why Herman Mashaba wants to procure Kelvin Power
Kelvin Power is a coal-fired power station located near the OR Tambo International Airport, in Kempton Park.
According to Mashaba, the end to Kelvin Power’s longstanding relationship with Eskom has placed Johannesburg in the predicament it currently finds itself in.
The mayor noted that the City’s contract with the independent power producer had been paused in December after Eskom had withdrawn from funding the arrangement, citing issues related to the high demands of load shedding at the time.
Mashaba has argued that, contrary to Eskom’s claims, going private with Kelvin Power will permanently remove the threat of power outages in the city.
“If our residents are paying for it, and it is not being generated by Eskom, there is no rational basis preventing us from using the 200MW produced at Kelvin to mitigate the crippling effects of load-shedding,” Mashaba stated.
Mashaba warns Eskom of court action
The mayor warned that if the power utility was not able to come forth in this venture, he was ready to take the matter to the courts.
“I have initiated a team of people from the city to meet Eskom to inform them that we will offset our load-shedding with the power produced by Kelvin. Should this not be achieved, I have informed our legal teams of my intent to go to court with Eskom so that we can mitigate load-shedding in Johannesburg.”
He indicated that the City and Kelvin Power were currently in negotiation over the terms of the contract, including the possibility of having the power available at prices cheaper than Eskom’s ask.
The success of this deal could allow the City to procure a total of 600MW from Kelvin Power.
This, according to the mayor, would go a long way in relieving the pressure from the power stations currently under maintenance.