New power game plan

Switching gears from reactive to proactive is the new game plan for the City of Johannesburg’s power utility.

City Power’s new head of operations, Isaac Ramopedi, has started looking at the challenges currently facing the power utility, saying that solutions were in sight.

“The biggest challenge is to normalise the electric network,” he said.

“We have not done active maintenance in a long time. And we are only in a reactionary mode, instead of being proactive.”

City Power now has a system in place which generates proactive maintenance work orders every day. This is given to ground workers to execute. In the long run, this will reduce the number of unplanned outages, Ramopedi added.

“Once we get the ratio right between planned and unplanned maintenance, you will reduce the number of outages and customer satisfaction will go up.”

He said the age of Joburg’s electrical network was another problem and not enough had been invested to refurbish it.

“We have the distribution network that needs attention, but work is ongoing at transmission stations like Roosevelt Park substation. We are stabilising the network.”

Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba said the goal was to up the percentage of maintenance work in the city. By May this year, he added that the City was spending 6 per cent of the value of the City’s total fixed assets, but he wanted it at over 8 per cent and close to 10 per cent by 2021.

“Whatever we build, we want to make sure our future generations can enjoy it,” he said.

On Ramopedi’s appointment, Mashaba added, “We are bringing in fresh blood. The majority of our people are committed but they need new leadership.”

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  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie

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