The City of Cape Town says it will ask the courts for a declaratory order that will allow it to choose the type of power that it provides.
The case – which is scheduled for 11 and 12 May 2020 – will determine if the city must procure its electricity from Eskom.
In a statement on Friday (15 November), the city said it would like to diversify its energy mix for greater energy security and cleaner energy supply while combating rising electricity costs and the impact of climate change.
The Electricity Regulation Act currently allows the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy to prescribe the amount of energy and the type of energy resources that can be used for generation.
Cape Town is contending that it is its Constitutional mandate to provide power to its customers and that customers should be able to choose the type of power that they receive.
“We believe that this is a matter of urgent national and local importance. Essentially, we want the court to agree that cities are allowed to go out to the market to procure its power from independent sources,” it said.
“The city maintains that it is vital for the national government to open up the electricity generation environment if cities are to be able to reduce carbon emissions and if the security of power supply is to be achieved.”
It further assured residents that ‘a great amount of work is being done on renewable energy and the diversification of resources’.
“Our energy-saving work is also ongoing and we encourage customers to look at ways to continue to save electricity and to reduce the load on the grid. Reducing the usage of big energy users such as geysers will also have a positive impact on household utility costs,” it said.