In the next two weeks, the City of Cape Town will publish documents detailing the upcoming procurement of power from independent power producers (IPPs).

Image credit: Zoë Reeve | Unsplash

Image credit: Zoë Reeve | Unsplash

This will include the announcement of tenders for the purchase of electricity from IPPs and timelines for bringing IPP-generated electricity onto the City’s supply network.

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 must 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.

The urgency of the matter cannot be overstated considering Eskom’s decision to implement further load shedding. It should never be forgotten that any loadshedding comes at a significant cost for South Africans. Load shedding means real businesses failing. Load-shedding means jobs being lost. Load-shedding makes the possibility of meaningful economic recovery ever more remote.

Despite the economic devastation caused by load shedding and the unreliability of its power supply, Eskom is pressing ahead with an application to 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.

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.