Legal Trends 2020

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Court to hear CoCT's plea to buy power from sources other than Eskom

On 11 and 12 May 2020, the City of Cape Town will ask the Court for a declaratory order that will enable it to choose the type of power that it provides. Currently, it is determined that the City must procure its electricity from Eskom. The City would like to diversify its energy mix for greater energy security and cleaner energy supply while combating rising electricity costs and the impact of climate change.
© Scott Betts –

The Electricity Regulation Act allows the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy to prescribe the amount of energy and the type of energy resources that can be used for new generation. The City is contending that it is its Constitutional mandate to provide power to its customers and that customers should be able to choose the type of power that they receive.

"We believe that this is a matter of urgent national and local importance. Essentially, we want the Court to agree that cities are allowed to go out to the market to procure its power from independent sources. The City maintains that it is vital for the national government to open up the electricity generation environment if cities are to be able to reduce carbon emissions and if the security of power supply is to be achieved," said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change, Councillor Phindile Maxiti.

"We can assure our residents that a great amount of work is being done on renewable energy and the diversification of resources. Our energy saving work is also ongoing and we encourage customers to look at ways to continue to save electricity and to reduce the load on the grid. Reducing the usage of big energy users such as geysers will also have a positive impact on household utility costs."

There are many ways to reduce energy usage and switch to alternative systems where it is possible to do so amid continued power supply uncertainty. It is especially important to be energy-wise and to be prepared as Eskom’s load-shedding occurs at short notice.

For load-shedding notices, City-supplied customers will be directed to the City’s website for updates and to access the load-shedding schedule. Eskom customers should visit
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