The Current State of ESKOM and Mogale City

It is probably not a good morning to all of you suffering from the financial effects of Load Shedding on your business !

Let me give you some background about the current situation:

MOGALE CITY ELECTRICITY ACCOUNT WITH ESKOM

This account for R 119m was outstanding when the notice was sent that Eskom intends cutting on 12 March 2020 due to non-payment of the account. In response to this the Democratic Alliance leadership in Mogale interacted with the Municipal Manager who confirmed that R 25m was paid earlier and undertook to pay and amount of about R 31m on 17 January to clear the November account. The balance of about R 60m for December billing would be paid early in February. These payments will bring the account up to date with the next payment for January billing being due the first week of February.

If these promises are adhered to no further action will be necessary. We have written to the Municipal Manager to request confirmation of the above arrangements and if we fail to get a written undertaking from him we will guide the major companies in Chamdor to launch an urgent application to the High Court to interdict Eskom from cutting the electricity in March on a similar basis that two companies in Randfontein successfully did last month.

ESKOM LOAD SHEDDING AND THE SCHEDULING THEREOF

We all know that loadshedding is a fact of life in South Africa – in any event for the foreseeable future. Business can plan accordingly if they are informed of reasonable time schedules for Load Shedding. What however frustrates business owners is when the load shedding schedules are not followed correctly by Eskom and that is what happened over the past 4 days – not only in Mogale but in the whole country. The load shedding is computerised and split in three different sections:

  1. CUSTOMERS WHO GET SUPPLIED DIRECTLY AND ARE BILLED DIRECTLY BY ESKOM

2. SMALLER MUNICIPALITIES THAT ARE SUBJECT TO LOADSHEDDING DIRECTLY FROM ESKOM

3.  METROS THAT ARE GIVEN TARGETS OF CONSUMPTION DURING LOADSHEDDING AND THE LOADSHEDDING IS DECIDED AND IMPLEMENTED BY THE METROS THEMSELVES.

In Mogale City certain outlying areas such as Muldersdrift and the Cradle of Humankind are supplied directly and billed directly by ESKOM and they have a different schedule applicable to them and actioned by ESKOM

The majority of Mogale City ( the old Krugersdorp Municipal Area)  has a unique load shed schedule and that is actioned remotely by ESKOM from the master schedule. It is this master schedule nationally that resulted in the chaos of the past 4 days due to a programming error. Load shedding was actioned  but not in accordance with the schedules downloadable from the website . I interacted with Andre de Ruyter on Saturday and shortly thereafter ESKOM acknowledged on social media and their website that they became aware of the problem and was working on the solution. By Sunday late afternoon they again reported on the website and social media that the problem was resolved.

According to the schedule, downloaded yesterday and re-confirmed today, Mogale was not to have any loadshedding today at all. The 12:00 noon loadshed therefore came as a major surprise and I have again sent an SMS to De Ruyter and have tried to get someone in ESKOM to respond but I have not had any success up to now ( 2pm on Monday)

I am in constant efforts to find a solution as this is costing our members millions of rand in lost production and wasted manpower.

I will give feedback to our members as soon as more information becomes available.