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POWER-Juba in blackout today

James Atem Kuir

The Juba Electric Distribution Company (JEDCO) which supplies electricity produced by Ezra Construction and Development Group (ECGD), in a public notice issued on Saturday, said that the whole of Juba City would on Monday (today)morning go into a total power blackout, starting from 6:00am until 6:00pm local time.

The notice indicated that the electricity would be cut off for twelve hours to allow for “annual preventive maintenance” on substations and distribution networks in the city.

“JEDCO takes this opportunity to inform its esteemed customers that on Monday July 19th, 2021, there will be the Annual preventive maintenance on Juba Substation and Distribution Network,” read in part the statement the firm posted on its Facebook page on Saturday.

Ezra Construction and Development Group controls a 100-megawatt power plant which provides about 33MW to the capital, Juba and surrounding areas.

The Juba City electric grid distributed by JEDCO has connected 9,990 households, 3,550 businesses and 200 governmental institutions, according to earlier media reports.

In the recent past,JEDCO andEzra have been accused of imposing higher charges for electricity installation and frequent power disruption.

In April, the two came under fire from the public afterthreatening to shutdown electricity supply for days over what was described as lack of hard currency for operation and unpaid dues by the government.

Less than three daysafter announcing power shedding,JEDCO plunged the whole Juba and surrounding areasinto darkness, disrupting businesses, work and other services. Doctors at Juba Teaching Hospital were forcedto use phone lights to conduct lifesaving operations, according to a story reported by one of media outlet.

JEDDCO eventually earned itself a legal suitfrom a disgruntled client, Kiirdit & Co. Advocates, whocomplained thatthe latter excessively charged them20,000 US dollarsfor intendedinstallation services. The law firm also argued that JEDCO imposed installation fees in US dollars instead of the local currency SSP.

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