Eskom on Friday denied reports that it has entered into a deal with the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) to take over the supply power to some of the city’s communities.
Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said the power utility had only signed a memorandum of understanding on how it is “going to work to develop the business case for the proposed transfer”.
“The municipality must still do the due [diligence] on their part to confirm that what we have proposed to them is acceptable,” explained Mantshantsha.
“They are in the process of appointing transaction advisors to assist them in the development of the business case.
“Any possible transaction is still years away, if it ever gets implemented.”
He said for the deal to go through, there were still many structures that had to be involved first.
“There is debt that must be paid by the customers to Eskom, there is infrastructure CoJ 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 Minerals and Energy], Nersa [National Energy Regulator of South Africa], Cogta [Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department] would all have to still approve.
“More importantly, the affected customers would, by law, have to have a say in a Nersa public participation process,” said Mantshantsha.
Eskom clarified this shortly after the ANC Johannesburg region had released a statement congratulating its leadership on what it called a “significant milestone” for its residents.
The ANC boasted that this was going to end the struggle of electricity for communities.
“Communities of Soweto, Orange Farm, Ivory Park and other Eskom supplied areas have long been at the receiving end of unreliable electricity supply. This has had a negative impact on the delivery of services in the City of Johannesburg,” reads the statement.
“To this end, the ANC calls on The City of Johannesburg and City Power to move with speed in rolling out infrastructures that will reconnect affected communities, as committed by the president of the ANC, president Cyril Ramaphosa, when he visited Soweto last month.”