According to the Government Gazette, South Africa will allow municipalities to source their own power rather than buying electricity solely from the state-owned utility, potentially easing a dispute with its second-biggest city, Cape Town.
Earlier this year, a judge ordered further negotiations between the City of Cape Town and the energy ministry after the municipality sued the government because it wasn’t allowed to proceed with its own energy procurement plans. Under the planned rules, the local authority would still need government permission to do so, which it objects to.
In addition to wanting to generate more power from renewable resources, South African cities including Cape Town, Johannesburg, the adjacent industrial hub of Ekurhuleni and Tshwane, which includes the capital, Pretoria, have been subjected to regular power cuts because state-owned Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. cannot meet demand and distribution infrastructure is dilapidated.
Cape Town has outlined plans to source electricity from solar plants and waste-to-power projects at its landfill sites. Eskom produces most of its power from coal.
Leila Mahomed-Weideman, director of sustainable energy markets for the City of Cape Town, said she couldn’t immediately comment.