Cape Town in landmark suit to open SA’s power system

The case could pave the way for municipalities to bypass the ministry and source their own power.
Image: Shutterstock

The city of Cape Town is awaiting a court ruling on whether it can buy its own electricity from suppliers other than national power utility Eskom Holdings without getting approval from the energy minister.

Judge Leonie Windell of South Africa’s High Court on Tuesday reserved judgment in the case between the city and the energy ministry and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.

The case could pave the way for South African municipalities to bypass the ministry and source their own power, much of it from renewable sources. It would also reduce revenue for Eskom, which produces most of its energy from coal and is saddled with R454 billion in debt. Eskom’s inability to supply sufficient power has resulted in repeated power cuts.

“Allowing municipalities to contribute to ensuring supply security is an important avenue to returning South Africa to a reliable and secure electricity system,” said Jesse Burton, a senior associate at E3G, an independent London-based climate change think-tank. “National government continues to tie municipalities to the high-cost future of expensive Eskom and expensive new coal plants, just as cities worldwide become sites of innovation and climate ambition.”

Read: Dealing with the elephant in the room that is Eskom

Burton provided an expert statement for the Centre for Environmental Rights, an environmental legal organisation that is an amicus to the case.

© 2020 Bloomberg

Get access to Moneyweb's financial intelligence and support quality journalism for only
R63/month or R630/year.
Sign up here, cancel at any time.

COMMENTS   2

You must be signed in to comment.

SIGN IN SIGN UP

It’s a no-brainer. Cheaper electricity (thanks to competition), less pollution and an all-round better deal for South Africans. The day of a Communist-style central power supplier is fast fading world wide. And there’s nothing so hard to stop as a trend.

The ANC will fight tooth and nail to stop any new large scale electricity production by IPP’s. After all, its their leadership and their clingons that score tons of money from supplying coal to Eskom in one sided contracts.

End of comments.

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR

Podcasts

NEWSLETTERS WEB APP SHOP PORTFOLIO TOOL TRENDING CPD HUB

Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company: