“Why are we doing this?” – Eskom won’t boost electricity supply in some cities
At the Constitutional Court, Eskom argued that municipalities that have not yet upgraded their power infrastructure should not be forced to supply more electricity. Transformer explosions are all too common, Eskom said, when a municipality’s power supply exceeds the infrastructure’s capacity to handle it.
Power companies fight municipalities to increase power supply
Eskom opposes residents’ associations that want it to increase electricity supply to the community. Two associations based in Mpumalanga and the Free State prevailed against Eskom in the Supreme Court (SCA).
The Vaal River Development Association and the Lekwa Taxpayers Association were brought before the Constitutional Court by Eskom. Power companies try to quash the SCA’s ruling.
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According to Eskom, the ruling could result in it being successfully sued by the community — even for load shedding. The troubled power company firmly explained that load shedding is in the national grid’s interest.
It further said that load shedding has nothing to do with supply issues facing cities with weak infrastructure.
Association and Eskom
The two residents’ associations won the right to increase electricity supply for the Ngwathe and Lekwa local governments. This means that Eskom needs to supply more electricity than the stipulated electricity supply agreement with the municipality.
Defence lawyer Sydwell Shangisa SC told the Supreme Court that the infrastructure in the cities could not support the additional supply.
“The municipality is consuming more electricity than it needs without concurrently upgrading the infrastructure to make it capable of carrying more loads,”
Shansa Sa said.
Upgrading infrastructure is necessary
Municipalities need to upgrade their infrastructure before adding electricity. According to Eskom, this will cost millions of rands. For example, the local municipality of Lekwa requires R187 million.
Judgment has been reserved in the case, the IOL reported.
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