The City of Cape Town will shortly be sharing more information on its upcoming procurement of power from independent power producers (IPPs). According to mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, these documents will be published within the next two weeks.
Cape Town wants “reliable and affordable” electricity
In light of the latest load shedding news from Eskom, Hill-Lewis explained that the documents announce the “tenders for the purchase of electricity from IPPs”. It will also include the timelines for when the city’s supply network will have access to IPP-generated electricity.
“It has become clear to the City of Cape Town that if we wish to halt the damage caused by Eskom’s monopoly over electricity generation, we have to take matters into our own hands. The only way for us to provide reliable and affordable electricity to our residents is to source it from elsewhere,” he said.
And after Eskom’s announcement was made, Mayor Hill-Lewis said that Cape Town can spare its electricity customers from one stage of load shedding. However, the power outages were still leading to lost jobs and failed businesses.
“It also makes the possibility of meaningful economic recovery ever more remote,” he said.
Eskom consumers warned against price hikes
Hill-Lewis further warned consumers about the looming electricity price hike in April. According to the mayor, Eskom is applying to NERSA to push the price of electricity by 20.5% from the 1st of April 2022.
This is all the more reason why IPPs are urgently needed.
“Bringing IPPs onto the grid, through the tendering process, is a crucial step in ending load shedding over time. The economic effects of a reliable power supply in Cape Town will mean more profitable businesses and more job opportunities. Every Capetonian will benefit.
“We hope that other spheres of government will respect our constitutional mandate to deliver electricity to our residents, and not stand in our way of making Cape Town the first load-shedding free municipality in South Africa.”
Other metros are also pursuing IPPs
As Cape Town moves forward with its alternative energy plans, other major metros in the country have also laid out strategies to introduce IPPs.
The City of Ekhuruleni in Gauteng has also announced plans to reduce its dependence on Eskom by introducing IPPs.
Johannesburg announced in October 2021 that it was planning on introducing its own energy mix in order to step away from Eskom and avoid load shedding.
And lastly, the municipality of Ethekwini – which includes the city of Durban – has also stated in July 2021 that it plans to introduce IPPs.