Eskom, Mpumalanga government sign collaboration agreement

Provincial FEATURED

State power utility Eskom has entered into a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the Mpumalanga Provincial Government to foster better relations between the two and allow for the implementation of Eskom related initiatives in the province.

Eskom CEO, Andre de Ruyter, said the collaboration will allow the power utility to steady its operations in the province.

Mpumalanga is a strategic province for the electricity supplier as it is home to many of its power stations.

“Eskom is pleased to foster collaboration with the Mpumalanga Provincial Government. Our prior engagements have yielded commendable outcomes, the MoA signifying a strengthening of this relationship, particularly for the implementation of our plans in a more coordinated manner.

“We believe that the MoA will enable Eskom to obtain the necessary and timeous technical, political, and security support that will strengthen and help stabilise Eskom operations in the province, as well as the timely roll-out of Eskom infrastructure delivery projects, thereby giving impetus to our collective efforts to achieve energy security for the country,” de Ruyter said.

According to Eskom, the MoA seeks to foster collaboration through the following:

  • Contributing meaningfully to the roll-out of Just Energy Transition (JET) initiatives including the repurposing and repowering of end-of-life power stations, socio-economic impact studies and accompanying mitigation activities, accelerated renewable energy development by public and private sector players, driving local manufacture and industrialisation, job creation and skills development.
  • Promote and develop circular economy initiatives, for example, activities related to Eskom ash and gypsum; agriculture and water saving;
  • Provide support to the development of SMMEs and co-operatives in the relevant areas of the value chain of Eskom operations within our governance frameworks;
  • Share information and knowledge, to deliver agreed initiatives on both the MERRP and Eskom Turnaround Plan;
  • Facilitate efforts to minimise crime such as theft, vandalism, violent incidents, hostage situations, hijacking, violent protests, and disruption of critical key infrastructure -including the national key points providing essential services to the republic.

Meanwhile, the power utility has also entered into a partnership with the Butterworth based Mnquma Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape to launch the Community Cooperatives initiative.

“The programme aims to create awareness about the impact of electricity theft and infrastructure vandalism and to enable collaborative partnerships with communities to find solutions that will lead to reduction of electricity theft and infrastructure vandalism.

“Butterworth is one of the pilot sites that have been selected because of a high rate of non-buying customers. Information on the Ibika-4 Way Ring 1 11kV Overhead Feeder shows a high rate of electricity theft (75%) and a high rate of non-buying customers,” an Eskom statement read.

The power utility added that as the colder months begin to set in, illegal connections to the grid tend to rise which leads to “network overloading and equipment failure”.

“Electricity theft puts Eskom’s infrastructure under immense pressure and in some cases resulting in explosion of transformers. Illegal connections pose a danger to the community, particularly innocent children and animals while also affecting businesses, schools, hospitals, public transport and the provision of basic services. Illegal connections are also an inconvenience to legal and paying customers,” Eskom said.