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Eskom, the city's main power supplier is implementing a new raft of power blackouts.

South Africa

City of Cape Town readies to launch IPP power procurement in 2 weeks

South Africa’s new liberalised power regulations now allow municipalities ‘in good standing’ to procure power from other sources other than Eskom.

The Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis on Wednesday issued a statement outlining the city’s plans to launch tenders for the procurement of power from independent power producers (IPPs) within the next two weeks.

The announcement came at a time state utility, Eskom, which supplies almost all of the city’s electricity needs is implementing a new raft of power blackouts known in South Africa as loadshedding to reduce power demand from its generation fleet as capacity dwindles.

“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,” said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

“The urgency of the matter cannot be overstated in light of Eskom’s decision to implement stage-two load-shedding from 11h00 today until 05h00 next Monday morning,” Hill-Lewis continued.

South Africa’s new liberalised power regulations now allow municipalities ‘in good standing’ to procure power from other sources other than Eskom which currently enjoys a monopoly of power supply in South Africa’s electricity market. The utility supplies over 90% of South Africa’s electricity needs, but its ageing coal fleet and constant power plant breakdown has seen the utility unable to cope with the country’s power requirements resulting in economically crippling power blackouts. 

Despite the economic devastation caused by power blackouts, and the unreliability of its power supply, Eskom is pressing ahead with an application to energy regulator Nersa to hike the price of electricity by 20,5% from 1 April 2022. 

“I have made it clear to Eskom and to Nersa that this planned increase is unfair, unjust, and unaffordable. Over 30 000 Capetonians signed a petition over the course of one weekend, asking Nersa to disallow the increase,” said Hill-Lewis.

“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,” the Mayor Cape Town concluded.

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