Ruling on Cape Town Section 34 determination disappointing – Kevin Mileham

DA MP says this further delays the City’s ability to provide electricity and alleviate impact of rolling blackouts

High Court ruling on Cape Town Section 34 determination disappointing

11 August 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has taken note of the decision by the North Gauteng Division of the High Court on the matter between the City of Cape Town and the Minister of Energy and National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), relating to the City’s application for a Section 34 ministerial determination to allow the City to procure electricity from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

The judgement, referring the matter back to the Intergovernmental Dispute Resolution Framework, is disappointing in that it further delays the City’s ability to provide electricity and to alleviate the impact of rolling blackouts on its residents.

In addition, the judgment appears to ignore the lengthy period of time that this matter has been outstanding, without any attempt at resolution by the Energy Minister or NERSA.

During the 5 years since the initial application, the Minister could, at any time, have rendered this case moot by responding to or deciding on the City’s application.

The DA will continue to push for the adoption of our Private Members’ Bill, the Independent Electricity Management Operator Bill, which would allow metropolitan municipalities such as the City of Cape Town that have the financial capacity and technical capability, to procure electricity from whomsoever they please, without requiring a ministerial determination.

It is unacceptable that unnecessary bureaucracy and petty power politics are hindering service delivery by a capable local government.

Issued by Kevin Mileham, DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, 11 August 2020