Joburg lacks financial and technical capacity to provide electricity it needs, says MMC
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Johannesburg - The challenge the City of Joburg faces is that it does not have the financial and technical capacity to provide the power it needs and must therefore look elsewhere
Joburg residents are being engaged in regular seminars to address the energy crisis.
This week, member of mayoral committee (MMC) for economic development, Lawrence Khoza, hosted the City of Joburg’s first webinar focusing on energy as part of its economic recovery response.
Energy has been identified as one of the key enablers of economic growth. This gave Khoza an opportunity to engage the private sector and highlight sectors the will position the city’s economy on a growth trajectory. It was also an opportunity for the private sector to share their plans to contribute to economic growth.
“As a country, we have major deficits in our energy supply as evidenced by the current round of load shedding. We need new sources of energy. The Department of Minerals and Energy has created a new dispensation for municipalities to generate energy.
“Joburg has thus positioned City Power to be an energy company, not just a buyer of electricity from Eskom. The city does not have the financial and technical capacity to provide the power that it needs. The attractiveness of Joburg as an investment destination is contingent on its ability to provide sufficient power,” said Khoza.
The city has earmarked several innovative energy supply projects such as waste-to-energy plants, natural gas, but Joburg’s energy grid remains reliant on coal. It is essential the city embraces renewable energy sources, enhances efforts to diversify the grid and ensures a stable supply of energy for all. The complexities faced by the city in respect of energy are not just about supply. One of the critical challenges is the cost and demand of constant maintenance and upgrading of its energy infrastructure and to enable appropriate, secure and reliable distribution. This challenge is worsened by illegal connections, cable theft and vandalism.
The webinars are part of a series of discussions between the city and the private sector, highlighting the importance of growing the economy. The Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan of the city will be inclusive, promote partnership and collaboration with the private sector to unlock various projects in these sectors; energy, agro-processing, manufacturing and ICT.