The City of Cape Town on Tuesday welcomed the high court in Pretoria setting a date for its petition to buy electricity directly from independent power producers (IPPs).
The City wants the Energy Minister and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to allow it to purchase power from IPPs. Under the current regime, the national power utility Eskom buys power from IPPs which is then sold on.
The City argues it would help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and mitigate against the electricity supply shortage given Eskom’s operational and financial woes.
“The City maintains that it will be vital for the national government to open up the electricity generation environment if cities are to be able to reduce carbon emissions and if the security of power supply is to be achieved,” the metro said in a statement.
If successful, it would set a precedent for other metros who want to do the same.
“This is not just a Cape Town fight. As a city, we encourage all other metros, being the growth engines of our country, to join us and to actively participate in constructive responses to mitigate the impact of the electricity supply shortage in the commercial sector especially.”
The matter will be heard on June 18.