Eskom will resume directly load-shedding customers of the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) after the metropolitan municipality’s repeated failure to implement the required amount of the scheduled power cuts.

In a statement on Thursday, 29 February 2024, Eskom said that the municipality had failed to adhere to the NRS 048-9:2019 code of practice, which determines how much load electricity distributors must shed under each stage of load-shedding.

Eskom said close monitoring and analysis conducted by the power utility showed that the CoE did not reduce the load as required by the code.

“Eskom brought to the attention of the City, on numerous occasions, its failure to loadshed its customers in keeping with the agreed regulations,” the power utility said.

“The code of practice requires electricity distribution licence holders to reduce load during the declaration of a system emergency.”

The power utility will take over the role of load-shedding the city’s customers from Friday, 1 March 2024.

The metro includes areas and cities such as Alberton, Benoni, Boksburg, Brakpan, Edenvale, Germiston, Kempton Park, Nigel, Springs, and Tembisa.

Technical limitations are not an excuse

Eskom said although it appreciated the CoE’s technical limitations in executing load-shedding, it had little option but to implement load-shedding on behalf of the CoE as the non-compliance put further strain on the already stretched national grid.

“Failure to implement load-shedding when required by all electricity distributors, including municipalities, undermines the integrity and stability of the grid, which may lead to higher stages of load-shedding,” Eskom emphasised.

Eskom previously took over control of Ekurhuleni’s load-shedding implementation for the same reason on 25 July 2023.

Just a few days later, it handed this power back to the municipality after the CoE assured Eskom that controls were put in place to address the challenges that prevented it from adhering to the rules.

According to Eskom, the municipality has again failed to honour its commitment to the requirements of the code of practice.

Eskom previously said that it would take over the load-shedding of any municipality that failed to comply for whatever reason, even after it had been engaged on the matter, because it is obliged to take the necessary precautions to protect the integrity and stability of the grid.