Load-shedding: Govt must take urgent action on IPPs – Dan Plato

Cape Town mayor says clarity is needed from Minister on practical implementation of amended energy regulations

Eskom load-shedding: National Government must take urgent action on IPPs

17 May 2021  

Amendments to national electricity regulations that were finally gazetted in October 2020, have begun to pave the way for municipalities to source power independently from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

The City has been in discussions with the national IPP office in the National Treasury to assist us in developing a framework for a municipal procurement programme for cities. The National Treasury supports our initiatives and also the public and transparent procurement processes we committed to from the start. Tender processes and the successful bids would need to be completed ahead of any potential procurement.

However, we urgently need clarity from the National Minister on the practical implementation of the amended regulations, which include:

Municipalities need to understand how the regulations will be implemented within the context of the current Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, which is fully allocated up to 2024. It is not clear where the allocation for municipal procurement will come from in the IRP and whether the Determinations provided in September 2020 will be amended to include municipalities or whether a new Determination will be issued to include municipalities.

It is not clear what timelines will apply to the processing of municipal applications by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, especially the time for review of feasibility studies. This still needs to be clarified to ensure implementation without lengthy delays.

The City has been working towards being able to provide more affordable, reliable and cleaner energy to residents in Cape Town and in South Africa. Load-shedding has been negatively impacting the ability of the economy to grow and limits much-needed job creation. The Covid-19 pandemic has further hit a struggling national economy; I therefore urge the National Minister to provide us with the clarity we need to proceed with the procurement from IPPs.

The City has always believed that local governments have the constitutional power and obligation to procure renewable energy and this is necessary to move away from the sole reliance on Eskom for energy supply. A stable and cleaner energy supply will give the economies of Cape Town and other municipalities in the country a boost towards sustained recovery following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

The City is the most-energy efficient in South Africa:

We have extensive solar-powered photovoltaic (PV) and small-scale embedded generation programmes in place, which are ready to be extended.

The City also ensures it can protect its customers as far as possible during load-shedding through the Steenbras Hydro Pump Station, which enables one level of reduction in load-shedding to City-supplied customers.

The City has been preparing for a future where more affordable and cleaner energy can be procured by municipalities.

The City hopes to have a PV plant built by the City on the ground by approximately 2022/3 if all goes according to plan,

However, with the current Municipal Finance Management Act and Energy Regulation Act regulations, it could take up to five years from when a Determination is provided to having the first power from an IPP in our grid. Specialist studies are under way.

Customers are advised to check the load-shedding schedule on www.capetown.gov.za

Please continue to reduce usage, especially during the peak time from 17:00 and switch off all non-essential electrical appliances to avoid nuisance tripping.


- Keep devices charged.

- Switch off non-essential electrical appliances to avoid nuisance tripping.

- Let us know if your power stays off for longer than the load-shedding schedule.

Issued Media Office, City of Cape Town, 17 May 2021