SA police stations to get power generators

 ·8 Jul 2015

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko says government is in the process of rolling out back-up generators to police stations across several provinces to avert disruptions during load shedding.

The Minister said this when responding to questions for written reply in Parliament over the impact of load shedding on the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) ability to service members of the public.

“The SAPS is in the process of putting out a tender for the procurement of mobile back-up generators to be distributed by the provinces as and where the need arises.

“The National Department of Public Works has been requested to register projects for the provisioning of generators at the non-devolved police stations,” said the Minister.

He said funding had been made available for this for the 2015/ 2016 financial year and all devolved police stations without generators would be provided with a generator by the end of the current financial year.

This comes as power utility Eskom has been implementing load shedding due to, among other things, a shortage in generating capacity versus an increasing demand for energy.

In December, cabinet announced the establishment of an energy “war room”, in which an inter-ministerial committee – led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa – looked at short, medium to long term solutions to tackle the electricity challenges.

Amongst these solutions, the war room would also look at alternative energy sources to help take the pressure off the power grid.

Minister Nhleko said in his Parliamentary reply that police were also looking at alternative ways of generating electricity, such as including solar perimeter lighting in all renewal and new generator and electrical maintenance contracts.

Five devolved police stations in the Eastern Cape are fully dependent on solar power – they are the Afsondering, Katkop, Lukholweni, Mbizeni and Zamuxolo polic stations.

The Minister said load shedding had an adverse effect on service delivery – from affecting the registration of case dockets to a huge security risk posed to detainees in holding cells.

He said not all 1140 fully fledged police stations had generators.

“Of the 1 140  police stations, 197 do not have generators. Of the 197 police stations, 184 police stations are non-devolved police stations, which is the responsibility of [the Department of Public Works] and 13 are devolved, which is SAPS’ responsibility,” he said.

In his recent address to Parliament, President Jacob Zuma said government had completed a medium term outlook model for the supply and demand of electricity.

He said that to increase supply, Eskom was implementing a structured planned maintenance programme to ensure that the availability of all power stations is improved.

“Eskom has also commissioned the supply of 100 Megawatts from the Sere Wind Farm in the Western Cape, while 827 Megawatts of cogeneration contracts have been signed, adding much needed capacity.

“It must be noted that Eskom added 160 000 households to the electricity grid in the past financial year, which added to the demand of electricity,” the President said.

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