New rules allow South African municipalities to generate their own electricity

 ·16 Oct 2020

Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe has gazetted a new directive which provides a framework around electricity generation for the country’s municipalities.

In a statement on Friday (16 October), the minister said that will give effect to president Cyril Ramaphosa’s commitment during the state of the nation address that government will enable municipalities in good financial standing to develop their own power generation projects, he said.

“The amendments to the regulations clarify the regime applicable to municipalities when requesting determinations under Section 34 of the Electricity Amendment Act,” he said.

“This will ensure an orderly development that is in line with the applicable Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs).”

Mantashe said that the amendments will ensure that requests are from municipalities in good financial standing, with feasible project proposals.

He said that his department has also put in place internal mechanisms to ensure that these requests are attended to in the shortest possible time.

A stable energy supply for the country was one of the key commitments that Ramaphosa made in his economic reconstruction and recovery plan for South Africa to parliament on Thursday.

Ramaphosa said that government is rapidly accelerating its energy plans to focus on renewable resources, battery power and storage.

This will contribute 11,800MW of new power to the country’s electricity grid by 2022, he said. In the medium-term government is looking to sign deals with independent power producers to bring an additional 2,000MW of power to the group.

He said that the government is also working to restructure Eskom which will open the door for independent power producers going forward. Ramaphosa pledged that government will also address Eskom’s growing debt issues as part of this restructuring.

Read: Special Investigating Unit picks at Eskom scabs to reveal the rot of corruption

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