Tshwane may become economic hub of Africa, says mayor

City of Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

City of Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink. Picture: Jacques Naude / Independent Newspapers

Published Jul 1, 2024


The City of Tshwane has the potential to become the economic hub of the continent if it succeeds in forging the public-private partnerships to drive its efforts to secure energy independence.

This was the sentiment expressed by chief executive of the Tshwane economic development agency (Teda) Dr Lardo Stander during the recent inaugural Tshwane Energy Summit in Menlyn.

He said the event presented a platform to align public and private partnerships by “ensuring the private sector understands what the City’s goals are and what the future, the economic and energy landscape for Tshwane looks like”.

“If we get this right, this will make us the economic hub of the continent and it’s with this priority and focus that we have pulled in our stakeholders, both in the government and the private sector to let them know our plan to ensure energy security,” he said.

This week, Tshwane’s Mayor Cilliers Brink hailed the summit as being successful, saying it put the municipality in a better position to prepare for future load shedding.

“This landmark event was critical to fast-tracking the City’s energy plans and reducing our reliance on Eskom. The City is leading efforts to lease out the Pretoria West and Rooiwal power stations to the private sector, and is also engaging independent power producers for expertise on generating alternative green energy,” he said.

Brink said the two processes are aiming for a combined 1 000MW of energy from mixed independent sources by 2026.

“About 300MW is expected to come from Rooiwal power station, 180MW from Pretoria West power station and the remaining 520MW from alternative energy sources,” he said.

While he acknowledged Eskom’s good efforts to keep the lights on, he said there is still no guarantee that the dark days of prolonged load shedding will not return.

Because of uncertainty around power supply, he said, the City must do what it deemed necessary for an energy-secure future in Tshwane.

“One of the key drivers for economic growth is a reliable supply of affordable and clean energy and as a large metropolitan municipality, it is crucial that we put a lot of work towards generating our own energy to assist local industries, businesses, and residents,” the mayor said.

The summit was organised by Teda in collaboration with the City, and it attracted 472 delegates, 25 exhibitors and sponsors, including key decision-makers, executives, senior managers and business owners, academia and research institutions.

Stander said: “The Rooiwal power station is in good condition, and it’s economically feasible to get the station online again producing power-using coal as a feedstock. The Pretoria West power station would most likely have to be converted to either a gas-to-power plant or a waste-to-energy plant.”

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