Eskom has not entered into a power supply transfer agreement with the City of Johannesburg .
Eskom has refuted a statement issued by the ANC’s Greater Johannesburg Region branch over an apparent power-purchase agreement between the city and the state-owned power utility.
In Friday’s statement, the ANC said Mayor Mpho Moerane had signed an agreement that will allow the city to take over power supply to areas such as Soweto, Orange Farm and Ivory Park.
However, Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha dismissed the claim as “totally untrue”.
The ANC said in the statement that those specific areas “have long been at the receiving end of unreliable electricity supply”, and this this ultimately had “a negative impact on the delivery of services in the City of Johannesburg”.
“The signed agreement ensures that the electricity bought in bulk from Eskom allows the city’s electricity distributor, City Power, safe and reliable distribution of electricity to the residents of Johannesburg,” the ANC branch said.
Mantshantsha, however, explained that Eskom had merely signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the development of a business case for the possible transfer to the city.
“The municipality must still do the due [diligence] on their part to confirm that what we have proposed to them is acceptable. They are in the process of appointing transaction advisors to assist them in the development of the business case,” Mantshantsha said.
He added that any possible transaction is years away – if it happens at all.
“There is debt that must be paid by the customers to Eskom, there is infrastructure COJ [City of Johannesburg] would have to buy from Eskom.
“There is infrastructure that still needs to be implemented by whoever distributes the electricity. On top of all of that, Treasury, DOE (Department of Energy), DMRE (Department of Mineral Resources and Energy), Nersa (National Energy Regulator of South Africa), Cogta (Cooperate Governance and Traditional Affairs) would all have to still approve,” he said.
He concluded that by law, the public would need to have a say in the process.