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Councillor Dagada’s remarks were published on the city website after he embarked on a day-long tour of City Power’s facilities and infrastructure in various parts of Johannesburg on Tuesday November 29.
City Power is the City of Johannesburg’s electricity utility. Dagada was accompanied on the tour by MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services Cllr Anthony Still.
The city said the tour was initiated by Dagada in his capacity as MMC for Finance and Chairman of the Budget Steering committee to familiarise himself with the electricity utility’s capital projects. This is to help determine how the City could assist it when allocating capital expenditure (capex) and operating expenditure (opex) budgets.
The tour was preceded by a presentation by the utility’s Managing Director‚ Sicelo Xulu‚ which covered aspects such as operations‚ mission‚ achievements and challenges. This was followed by a visit to the metering warehouse and control room‚ where Xulu and his team demonstrated how these facilities operated.
The councillors were taken on a tour of Pimville and Kliptown‚ two of the areas worst affected by illegal electricity connections. At Groblerspark Extension 9 in Roodepoort‚ they were shown how a prepaid smart meter is installed.
The tour also took them to the Kloofendal substation in Roodepoort and Sebenza in Kempton Park‚ where a new substation‚ said to be the biggest in Southern Africa‚ is being built at a cost of R882-million. Work on the substation is expected to be completed by December 2017.
Dagada said the tour was an eye-opener‚ adding that he was humbled to know that City Power contributed 10% of South Africa’s energy.
He said Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba had emphasised the need to grow Johannesburg’s economy by 5% by 2020.
“City Power will play that fundamental role to achieve the 5% economic growth envisaged by the Mayor. Economic growth requires a lot of electricity and if City Power’s infrastructure is not upgraded to capacity it will fail to provide the required energy. That could have a negative socio-economic impact. It would also affect our service delivery targets‚” he said.
Still said he was also highly impressed by City Power’s “first-class” engineering and security of power supply.
He said‚ like Dagada‚ he was convinced Johannesburg would have no power supply problems for the next 10 years or more.
He was‚ however‚ concerned about illegal electricity connections in Johannesburg’s informal settlements. “We have to think carefully of how we deal with these areas in the future‚” he said.