The Status of City Power
We in this
Council are witness to the slow but clearly distinguishable disintegration of
services around the City. Captains of Industry like Dr Anton Rupert of
Remgro have said that we are in a
Let us look
at the state of City Power from information in the 1ST Quarterly
for the 1st quarter is R631 million against a budgeted profit
of R11 million. Electricity volumes sold
have declined due to unbilled customers and by passed meters. Increased total
losses of electricity stand at 35.37% against a budgeted loss of 12.12%. The
non technical losses stand at a staggering 26%. We have meters not billed to
accounts, unbilled installations, missing billing orders and about 27 000
properties not billed for electricity consumption but billed for rates and
speaker this is no longer a challenge
for the City but a crisis.
having higher than normal MV outages and there is an unacceptably high rate of
vandalism and theft of City Power Infrastructure. City Power spends millions annually on the
security of the infrastructure .Are we really getting a return on this
investment . Where illegal connections
are removed, it is generally found that the illegal connections are re
established the very next day. In some communities like Rabie Ridge and
Alexandra there is resistance to City Powerâ€™s attempts to install pre paid
meters. Of the 10 000 planned meter installations this quarter, only 738
were installed and commissioned. Cable theft is rampant and the perpetrators
seem to know the patterns and systems of City Power well enogh to continually
gain access to the cables. This ongoing prevalence of theft and vandalism of infrastructure continues
unabated across the City. This results in unplanned outages, customer frustration
and dissatisfaction and unsustainable repair and replacement expenditure.
Speaker, of the 646 street lights installed this quarter,
all are still waiting to be commissioned.
Due to late submissions, there have been delays in obtaining applications and wayleaves for Eskom supply
points. Many faulty street lights remain
out for months regardless of the accepted turn around time.
dropped to 89,6%. Financially, City Powerâ€™s non technical losses for the first quarter
amounts to R940 million. Total technical and non technical losses at the end of
this quarter amounts to R1,26Billion.
Speaker, only the Reuven warehouse is
presently operating on the shift system. All the other City Power stores only
operate between 8am and 5pm. The night Repair teams sometimes have to travel
long distances to collect material and supplieswhich aggravates the length of
the outages and infuriates residents. We need to change this approach so that
supplies can be collected from stores at the Regional depots.
reading performance is abysmal. During this first quarter it was only 65,39%
against a target of 96%. Meters that were replaced are not always updated on
the system timeously.This is a back office administrative task. This has led to
estimate readings and double billing. As a consequence residents are then
billed inflated amounts and threatened
with termination notices.
speaker, we cannot continue on this path of self destruction. City Powers
infrastructure is beginning to crumble. The transformers that City Power
purchased from Pakistan a few years ago are allegedly sub standard. City Power
had a problem of integrating them into the system. This problem has never been
resolved . How much money was wasted on
these poor quality transformers ?
is presently installing smart meters across the City. There are already
problems with these meters and their
performance. There are also allegations of fraud and corruption around the
contract . What is City Power doing to remedy the situation and to provide
transparency to the rate payers. Why Madame Speaker are we not acting in the
best interests of the citizens of this City. Cable theft needs to be re
classified as economic sabotage as it is destroying our economy. The
perpetrators should be facing lengthy prison terms.
Speaker, the City Management appears to be paying lip service to the bad
management and poor performance at City Power. Criminals and fraudsters are
getting rich at the City and ratepayers expense.
everything I have said comes directly out of the first quarterly report. If all
that I have said is true Madame Speaker then I am really battling to see the
light at the end of the tunnel. We need
action now before the lights are permanently out and direct foreign investment
becomes simply a pipe dream.