The power-distribution utility in South Africa’s commercial capital of Johannesburg will exclude key customers, essential services and some businesses from power cuts to reduce the fallout and attract investment.
(Bloomberg) — The power-distribution utility in South Africa’s commercial capital of Johannesburg will exclude key customers, essential services and some businesses from power cuts to reduce the fallout and attract investment.
The exemptions will start gradually from early next month, City Power said in a statement on Thursday. The changes come as the company considers a plan to cut daily outages for residents by half.
“Already most large power users and key business customers are excluded from loadshedding through the load curtailment agreements with the companies,” it said, referring to the local term for outages. “Other businesses, especially those in industrial areas and employ many people, will be gradually excluded owing to the reconfiguration of the network and other processes, including the rolling out of energy techniques.”
Read More: South Africa’s Commercial Capital Weighs Plan to Reduce Outages
Lawmakers Back Eskom Debt Relief Bill (May 25, 6:26 p.m.)
Lawmakers approved a plan by the National Treasury to take on a portion of state power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.’s debt.
The finance minister will determine when loans will be advanced to the company, according to the draft law agreed by members of parliament in Cape Town on Thursday. The loans will be converted into Eskom ordinary shares that will be issued to the state, it said.
The bill will now go to Parliament’s other house, the National Council of Provinces, for a vote before being referred to President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign into law.
Block Exemption Granted for Energy Projects (May 25, 1:02 p.m.)
South Africa granted energy users and suppliers a block exemption to foster collaboration between companies and institutions to address the nation’s energy crisis.
The Energy Suppliers Block Exemption 2023, published by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition on Thursday, will enable consumers and producers to “increase and optimize supply capacity, reduce the cost of energy or improve the efficiency of energy supply, and secure backup or alternative energy supply in order to minimize the effects of the current electricity supply constraints,” Minister Ebrahim Patel said in a statement.
The exemption will remain in effect until further notice, he said.
Hospitals to Be Exempted from Power Cuts (May 25, 12:10 p.m.)
South Africa’s government identified 213 hospitals that will be excluded from power cuts, according to a statement detailing the outcome of a cabinet meeting on May 24.
Of that number, 76 health facilities are already excluded, and work is under way to add another 46 hospitals is at an “advanced stage,” the ministry said.
Food Maker Installs Solar (May 24, 9:10 a.m.)
South African food producer RFG Holdings Ltd. will complete solar installations at seven of its production facilities over the next 18 months, accelerating its renewable energy program as Eskom struggles to meet demand for electricity.
The group is planning capital expenditure of 280 million rand ($14.6 million) for the 2023 financial year, including new generators and the replacement of existing ones in response to so-called loadshedding, according to its results report published on Wednesday. RFG spent 37.8 million rand on diesel for back-up power in the six months through April 2 and at current levels of blackouts its weekly average fuel cost is about 2 million rand, the company said.
RFG is among a growing number of businesses being forced to supply their own electricity amid daily blackouts.
Read More: RFG Holdings 1H Net Income ZAR217.3m Vs. ZAR159.2m Y/y
–With assistance from Mpho Hlakudi, Paul Vecchiatto, Rene Vollgraaff and Gordon Bell.
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