Social responsibility report
City Power's business is about social responsibility: providing the electricity supply that contributes to quality of life, educating customers about the safe use of electricity, participating in renewal projects that empower entire communities, providing and maintaining the public lighting that reduces crime and keeps communities safe.
Free basic electricity
A key element of City Powers role as corporate citizen is the provision of 50 kWh of free basic electricity. City Power was one of the first utilities to introduce free basic electricity as part of the national commitment to ensure that all South Africans have access to electricity. Introduced in July 2002, City Power has to date spent over R66 million in providing this service, which is a particular benefit for poorer communities.
City Power is involved in a number of community initiatives, including:
This division is responsible for the installation, operation and maintenance of the public lighting network in the greater Johannesburg area, including suburbs that lie in Eskoms supply area, a network of over 2 700 km2. In that network, over 145 000 lighting units of various types are maintained. Approximately 90% of these street lighting units are within City Powers area of supply whilst the remaining 10% are within the Eskoms supply area.
The operating expenditure for the current financial year is R38,6 million.
Approximately 10 206 241 kWh per month are consumed on street lighting based on the number of street lights and the number of operating hours.
During the review period, public lighting was installed for the first time in Slovoville, Braam Fischer, Ebony Park and Ivory Park. High masts were refurbished in Soweto, Diepsloot and Alexandra and key interchanges on the citys highway ring route.
Importantly, by using local labour and involving communities in public lighting network development, incidents of vandalism appear to be decreasing.
Given the rapid growth of Johannesburg, and the need to address the backlog in certain areas, the City of Johannesburg has trebled the public lighting capital expenditure budget for the new financial year. This will enable the division to maintain its service delivery and increase the use of local labour.
Black economic empowerment
City Powers dedicated black economic empowerment unit exceeded its targets in the review period, directing 63% of its discretionary spending (R339 million) to empowerment companies and small and medium enterprises. The target for spending with companies owned by women was not met, primarily due to the dearth of such companies in a technical industry. This trend is expected to reverse in coming years as more companies owned by women are entering the industry. City Power also actively encourages its suppliers to appoint skilled women.
Following concerted efforts, City Powers database of suppliers is now well established and its policy of developing suppliers continues to attract new entrants to the database. During the year, City Power held six well-attended supplier development forums, which provided an important platform for sharing knowledge and networking.
The City Power tender advice centre, located in Reuven, continues to manage an increasing number of enquiries from suppliers across the spectrum.
A highlight of the year was the introduction of supplier training, particularly for small and medium enterprises, on City Powers network, safety, health and the environment and technical aspects. Technical training is funded by equipment manufacturers.
Going forward, this unit will be merged with the procurement and supply chain management department for greater economies of scale and synergy. The focus will remain on developing suppliers to ensure sustainable growth and to attract more companies owned by women into the industry.
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