SOPA: Winde says Western Cape will be first to beat load shedding, unveils R40m plan
CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape will be first province in the country to beat load shedding and is already making progress in achieving this goal, according to Premier Alan Winde in his State of the Province address.
Winde said: “At the end of last year, we launched our Municipal Energy Resilience Project, which will assist municipalities in taking the necessary steps to generate, procure and sell their own power.
“We have also committed R20 million per year over a two-year period to roll out this project.
“As part of the first phase, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, in partnership with the Department of Local Government and the Provincial Treasury, have already undertaken an assessment process with all municipalities to determine their readiness for and to select those that can be the initial drivers of new energy opportunities.”
During meetings this week, Winde met with head of investment and infrastructure office at the Presidency, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa to discuss infrastructure issues including an emergency/risk mitigation power purchase programme.
On the key issue of transport, Winde said: “I announced last year that we will start an initial engagement with our partners and other stakeholders around the creation of a single transport authority for the greater Cape Town region, something which all modern cities have.
“Sadly though, this is not a quick fix. It will take time, co-ordination and, of course, financing over the longer term.”
On tourism, Winde said: “We need to prepare for what will be another difficult year for the tourism sector in our province.
“The first critical step will be ensuring that our air network recovers after a number of routes were suspended or cancelled last year.
“The Air Access team, housed at Wesgro, continues to engage with the aviation industry and there are some promising signs emerging.
“Even in the current global climate, we have been able to secure a direct route from Cape Town to Atlanta on Delta Airlines, which plans to commence this year. We have also secured TAP Portugal (the Portuguese national flag carrier), with a direct flight to Lisbon, starting November 2021.”