A court date has been set to hear the City of Cape Town’s plea to buy power from suppliers other than Eskom. File picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - A court date has been set to hear the City’s plea to buy power from suppliers other than Eskom.

The City will, on May 11 and 12, ask the court for a declaratory order that will enable it to choose the type of power it provides.

It is determined that the City must procure its electricity from Eskom. The City would like to diversify its energy mix for greater energy security and cleaner energy supply while mitigating increasing electricity costs and the effects of climate change.

The Electricity Regulation Act allows the minister of mineral resources and energy to prescribe the energy resources that can be used for new generation.

The City is contending that it is its constitutional mandate to provide power to its customers, who should be able to choose the type of power they receive.

Mayco member for energy and climate change Phindile Maxiti said: “We believe 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.

“The City maintains 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.

“We can assure our 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.”

Earlier this year, the City put out a statement saying it was “doing everything possible to move away from sole reliance on Eskom for our energy needs while trying to become more resilient and sustainable through the use of cleaner energy, such as renewable energy and transitional fuels such as natural gas”.

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Cape Argus