The City of Tshwane is set to embark on a process to lease Rooiwal and Pretoria West power stations after council on Thursday passed a report in which the public gave the municipality a go-head to do so.
In September last year, the council sought to solicit public views on its proposal to lease the stations for a period of 40 years to independent power producers.
According to the City, the rationale behind the project was to reduce its dependence on Eskom and alleviate the burden of load shedding.
Executive Mayor, Cilliers Brink, said council approved the second report, which gives the green light to proceed with the 40-year lease of both municipal power stations.
“This follows our robust public participation engagements with various stakeholders wherein we received an overwhelming positive response. which indicates that our residents understand that we need to take drastic actions to end load shedding for an energy secure future,” Brink said.
He explained that the council-approved report marked one of the six steps to get the two power stations running again.
“It marks a major milestone to move Tshwane closer to energy independence and stabilising electricity supply to communities,” he said.
Part of the City’s master energy plan was to work towards securing at least 1 000 MW of alternative energy over the next three years.
Brink said: “This has occasioned the need for the City to engage with independent power producers and open up opportunities for alternative energy production.”
He said the City was so far pleased with the transparent manner in which the leasing process was unfolding.
City Manager Johann Mettler has been charged with the responsibility to appoint a professional transactional advisory team to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Brink said: “Tshwane residents should be proud of this progressive step, because every time higher stages of load shedding hit us, it destroys our infrastructure, lead to prolonged outages and frustration, and create opportunities for cable theft. That is why this project to move in a different direction is so important for our future.”
He added that he would soon announce other initiatives as part of municipal energy plan to reduce the City’s dependence on Eskom and alleviate the burden of load shedding for all residents.
DA Tshwane caucus spokesperson, Kwena Moloto said: “This strategic decision holds the promise of a significant reduction in the impact of load shedding in Tshwane, enabling businesses to keep their doors open and for residents to keep the lights on.”
ANC councillor, Donald Tsela, believes the proposal will bring much-needed investment and create jobs for local residents.