Cape Town wants to leave Eskom and load shedding behind – but needs government to speed things up

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato has urged the national government to provide further clarity around its independent power regulations so that the city can begin the move away from Eskom’s grid and load shedding.

Amendments to national electricity regulations that were gazetted in October 2020, will pave the way for municipalities to source power independently from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

Plato said the city has been in discussions with the national IPP office in the National Treasury to assist us in developing a framework for a municipal procurement programme for cities.

“The National Treasury supports our initiatives and also the public and transparent procurement processes we committed to from the start. Tender processes and the successful bids would need to be completed ahead of any potential procurement.”

“However, we urgently need clarity from the National Minister on the practical implementation of the amended regulations,” he said.

The city said that it specifically needed clarity on:

  • Municipalities need to understand how the regulations will be implemented within the context of the current Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, which is fully allocated up to 2024. It is not clear where the allocation for municipal procurement will come from in the IRP and whether the Determinations provided in September 2020 will be amended to include municipalities or whether a new Determination will be issued to include municipalities.
  • It is not clear what timelines will apply to the processing of municipal applications by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, especially the time for review of feasibility studies. This still needs to be clarified to ensure implementation without lengthy delays.

Move away from Eskom

“The city has always believed that local governments have the constitutional power and obligation to procure renewable energy and this is necessary to move away from the sole reliance on Eskom for energy supply,” said Plato.

“A stable and cleaner energy supply will give the economies of Cape Town and other municipalities in the country a boost towards sustained recovery following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.”

Cape Town’s latest push comes after Eskom after implemented load shedding on Sunday evening following the loss of 10 generating units at seven power stations.

“The failure of three generation units at Tutuka was due to loss of air compressors; a unit at Majuba was forced to shutdown, while another unit tripped.

“A generation unit at Kriel was taken down for a boiler tube leak. A unit was forced down due to a steam leak at a unit at Matla power station, while trips at a unit each at Medupi, Kusile and the Duvha power stations are being investigated,” Eskom said on Sunday.

This represents a total loss of 6 ,044MW over this 24 hour period, bringing the total unplanned capacity lost to 16,118MW. Planned maintenance is 4,171MW.


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Cape Town wants to leave Eskom and load shedding behind – but needs government to speed things up