OPINION: Navigating the complexities of Eskom’s decisions and their impact on local governance

Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned electricity supplier, has long been a source of frustration for both citizens and local councillors. The recent incident involving the suspension and sudden reinstatement of load shedding by Eskom has once again highlighted the challenges that local councillors face in managing the impact of Eskom’s decisions on their communities. In this write-up, we will explore how Eskom’s actions can make councillors appear incompetent and the broader consequences for local governance.

The Suspension of Load Shedding:

In the face of persistent power shortages and rolling blackouts, Eskom temporarily suspended load shedding, providing a brief respite for South Africans and local councillors alike. This suspension allowed city authorities, such as City Power, to carry out essential maintenance and fault-finding operations on the electricity infrastructure in their areas of responsibility. Councillors welcomed this as an opportunity to address some of the long-standing issues affecting their constituents.

Eskom’s Reinstatement of Load Shedding:

However, the relief brought by the suspension of load shedding was short-lived. Eskom’s decision to reinstate load shedding during the fault-finding process took many by surprise and caused a ripple effect of chaos and confusion. This abrupt reversal of policy not only disrupted the fault-finding efforts but also left local councillors in a precarious position.

Challenges Faced by Councillors:

  1. Ineffectual Planning: Local councillors plan their activities, including essential maintenance work, around Eskom’s load shedding schedules. The sudden reinstatement of load shedding undermined these plans, leading to wasted resources and delays in addressing critical issues.
  2. Public Anger and Frustration: Local councillors often bear the brunt of public anger and frustration when load shedding resumes unexpectedly. Citizens look to their councillors for answers and solutions, putting undue pressure on them to explain Eskom’s decisions.
  3. Perceived Incompetence: The inconsistency in Eskom’s policies can create a perception that local councillors are ineffective in managing essential services. Councillors are left in a difficult position, as they have limited control over Eskom’s actions but are held responsible for the consequences.
  4. Economic Consequences: Load shedding disrupts businesses and economic activities in local areas. Councillors must deal with the economic fallout, including job losses and reduced investment, further adding to their challenges.


Eskom’s inconsistent load shedding policies pose significant challenges for local councillors. These policymakers must navigate a complex web of responsibilities, public expectations, and the unpredictable decisions of the national electricity provider. To address these challenges, collaboration between Eskom and local government is crucial, as well as improved communication and transparency regarding load shedding decisions. Only through a coordinated effort can local councillors effectively serve their communities in the face of the ongoing energy crisis.

Contact Information for Councillor Lois Simonse:

Councillor Lois Simonse
COJ Ward 7
Phone: 0634782898
Email: LoisS@joburg.org.za

Let us remember that we are all working towards the betterment of our beloved Ward 7, and I remain dedicated to representing your interests to the best of my ability.

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