Maimane wants Radebe to allow DA municipalities to start tender process with IPPs

2019-03-26 18:21
DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (Jan Gerber, News24)

DA leader Mmusi Maimane. (Jan Gerber, News24)

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DA leader Mmusi Maimane has instructed all DA-led municipalities to formulate and execute disaster plans to mitigate against infrastructural damage caused by load shedding. 

On Sunday, Eskom announced that it did not anticipate load shedding this week. 

The power utility had implemented load shedding for more than a week due to plant failures as well as a loss of 900 MW from the Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique as a result of a cyclone.

Plans

Maimane has been holding back-to-back media briefings this week on the power crisis. On Tuesday, he together with city mayors Herman Mashaba, Stevens Mokgalapa and Dan Plato and DA Gauteng premier candidate Solly Msimanga held a media briefing. The mayors and Msimanga each spoke about their plans to counter load shedding.

Maimane has been vocal about his belief that government should look for alternatives other than coal to produce much-needed power. The DA strongly believes that independent power producers (IPPs) and the use of solar or renewable energy are more sustainable than the current electricity model. 

Mayors of all 32 DA-led municipalities will be writing to Energy Minister Jeff Radebe, requesting a determination in terms of section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 2006 allowing those municipalities to bypass Eskom and procure electricity directly from IPPs, he said.

The act, Maimane said, empowers Radebe to allow municipalities to enter into a tender procedure which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective with the private sector to provide for new generation capacity.

READ: DA's energy solution can work within a week - Natasha Mazzone

This licensing arrangement is facilitated and approved by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.

"The number of IPPs is multiplying across South Africa and is increasingly becoming a sustainable option for municipalities to supplement their electricity supply procured from Eskom," the DA leader said.

"Every DA-run municipality in the country will explore the viability and sustainability of adopting a by-law to regulate small scale embedded generation such as solar PV (photovoltaic) at businesses and residential homes," he said referring to technology that converts sunlight into direct electricity.

"This would allow individuals with the capacity to generate their own energy to feed surplus energy into the grid and in turn credit their accounts. This by-law already exists in the City of Cape Town and 18 other DA-run municipalities and there is no reason it cannot be adopted all across the country. I have tasked all DA mayors to look at the viability within their local circumstances to adopt a similar by-law, where practicable and financially feasible," the DA leader said. 

The party is planning to march to the Union Buildings on Friday to force President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action on the energy crisis. 

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Read more on:    da  |  eskom  |  mmusi maimane  |  jeff radebe  |  load shedding
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