Johannesburg Municipality is the body responsible for regulating Johannesburg City Power and Electricity, the unit charged with powering the entire city.
Power is bought from bigger generators and transported to the city, where Johannesburg City Power plays an important role in supplying this mass of urban life with enough power to heat and light homes and businesses. City Power Johannesburg Limited is the separate company and its only shareholder is Johannesburg Municipality.
With the prime objective to become one of the most advanced and modern city’s in Africa, Johannesburg City has really adopted and implemented some of the best technologies in South Africa and Southern Africa – and fuelling that drive is the need for reliable energy, with Johannesburg very much the pulse of the nation’s economic heartbeat.
A cursory glance at South Africa’s energy source reveals that 90 per cent of the electricity is extracted from coal, which is also known as one of the prime sources of energy in this part of the world.
The way in which Johannesburg City Power provides power to this fine city is quite unique. This division is not producing the power which is what many people think; rather it buys power that is generated by huge generators from the likes of Eskom, the biggest energy supplier in South Africa.
The cost of such electricity varies a lot throughout the year. The demand for electricity remains high during the winter months, early evening and mid-morning and during these times, the cost for the electricity also remains higher than normal. Like the other electricity boards, Johannesburg City Power has implemented an energy-management system in order to control the consumption of electricity; this also helps the board to limit the electricity amount that is bought during the peak times. This strategy enables the organization to save energy which passes on benefits to the end user when it comes to reduced tariffs.
During peak periods of consumption, water geysers are remotely stopped, which again helps to reduce the drag on resources. The consumer is often unaware of such initiatives and suffers no inconvenience as a consequence; the water in the geysers remains hot before the devices are switched off. This sort of energy management system is deployed across the entire city.
The company is also responsible for the public lighting division which takes care of installing, regulating, and maintaining the public lighting systems for this city. The street lights are supplied for areas such as Soweto and Sandton – and are powered by electricity acquired from Eskom.
From Johannesburg’s perspective, Johannesburg City Power is regarded as one of the biggest yet most dynamic employers in the city. It offers the best and the most convenient working environment to its staff.
The organization’s website explains its important role and benefits to prospective employees: “City Power is a dynamic employer, focused on providing the best working environment in its industry and operating at consistently high levels of productivity. This has enabled the company to attract the top talent in its field, joining a team of 1800 employees.
“Attractive benefits and leading human resources practices and policies have positioned City Power as a preferred employer. All employees enjoy retirement fund and medical aid benefits, while the new and much-used employee wellness clinic offers primary healthcare and occupational health management in-house, working with leading private healthcare groups.”
Since its inception, this division has managed to operate consistently with the highest level of productivity; this is what also attracted the most talented people to work in this field. City Power has also adopted and implemented several beneficial human resources policies and practices.
City Power acknowledges the vital role energy supply plays in building socio-economic opportunity and strives to be socially responsible.
According to the company website: “Its main concerns are providing an electricity supply that contributes to quality of life, educating customers about the safe use of electricity, participating in renewal projects that empower entire communities, and providing and maintaining the public lighting that reduces crime and keeps communities safe.”
But initiatives go much further, with City Power providing 100 kWh of free basic electricity to indigent households in the city every month. City Power was one of the first utilities to introduce free basic electricity as part of the national commitment to ensuring that all South Africans have access to electricity.
City Power is also renowned for its highly committed approach towards governance standards. The company has also followed the principles associated with King Two Code; deploying robust systems, practices and policies in order to maintain and regulate this business. This also helps them to regulate the division with best practices that are admired globally.
To help run smoother operations, City Power’s customer base has been categorised into large power users, key customer, pre-paid customers, commercial customers, agricultural customers and domestic customers.
For City Power, organization and effective management is helping to keep one of the Continent’s major cities running day and night. That is no mean feat as South Africa seeks to develop its global standing.