South Africa: Joburg Council Pumps Money Into Fixing Power Infrastructure and Finding IPPs

The City of Johannesburg is on a mission to improve its electricity infrastructure after years of cable theft and substation vandalism. The move is considered strategic in preparing for independent power producer energy supply and diversifying the city’s energy mix.

As South Africa endures continued rolling blackouts, the City of Johannesburg has allocated R1.6-billion to secure its unstable energy grid for the next financial year, readying itself to acquire additional energy supply from independent power producers (IPPs).

MMC for environment and infrastructure services Councillor Michael Sun told Daily Maverick City Power had a backlog of R26-billion in infrastructure repairs and restoration.

“That’s a substantial amount of backlog that we can never catch up [with], but we need to start somewhere,” said Sun. “So this year we’ve dedicated R1.6-billion in terms of infrastructure investment. That will go into both restoration and repairs of the existing infrastructure, and also the investment into new infrastructure; installation of your new cables, new substations, mini [substations], and so on.”

He blamed the current backlog on many years of neglect, cable theft, vandalism of substations and rife infrastructure damage. In the 2020/2021 financial year alone, the city was hit by cable theft amounting to more than…

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