The City of Cape Town is still in limbo after the green light was given for municipalities to purchase electricity from independent power producers. Picture: Siphiwe SIbeko/Reuters
The City of Cape Town is still in limbo after the green light was given for municipalities to purchase electricity from independent power producers. Picture: Siphiwe SIbeko/Reuters

City of Cape Town hangs on promise over IPP purchases

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Mar 3, 2020

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is still in limbo after President Cyril Ramaphosa and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni gave the green light for municipalities in good financial standing to purchase electricity from independent power producers (IPPs).

Cope caucus leader Farouk Cassim said: “I would like to request that the mayor write to the minister of energy and inform him that the City will be going ahead with purchasing electricity from IPPs, seeing that it was mentioned by the president and the finance minister.”

Cassim also recommended that the City drop its court case challenging the law when it comes to municipalities purchasing electricity.

“The City should drop its court case so that when the mayor writes a letter the courts will see we have exhausted all avenues.

"If one minister is holding us back he is going against the president.

"The City’s fight to procure energy from IPPs dates back to 2015, when the City wrote to former energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson requesting a section 34 determination that would allow Cape Town to procure solar energy and wind energy from IPPs.

In terms of section 34 of the Energy Regulation Act of 2006, the minister may, in consultation with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, determine the types and quantity of electricity to be generated and the manner in which it may be sold.

"Since 2015, we have written regularly to successive ministers on this matter, and eventually had to turn to the courts seeking a declaration that a determination by the minister of energy is not required for an IPP to produce and sell electricity to the City."

During the president’s State of the Nation Address and during Mboweni’s Budget Speech, both reiterated that it will soon be possible for municipalities to purchase electricity from IPPs.

Chairperson of the energy and climate change portfolio committee Zimkhitha Sulelo said she would make the recommendation.

“We will be making this a priority.”

@MarvinCharles17

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Cape Argus

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