South Africa: Cape Town Challenges Mantashe to Allow Municipalities to Use Non-Eskom Energy

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The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy on Tuesday released a statement saying it was committed to developing the generation capacity needed to meet electricity demands. On Wednesday the City of Cape Town hit back, with Deputy Executive Mayor Ian Neilson challenging the power utility to take a step back and let municipalities purchase their own electricity.

Amid rolling blackouts that oscillate between Stage 2 and Stage 6 on a daily basis, the City of Cape Town has made its stance firmly known: let municipalities buy cleaner energy from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and skip Eskom entirely in an attempt to provide residents with power.

Neilson challenged Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe to act immediately and put the well-being of South African citizens and the country's economy first.

According to Section 34 of the Energy Regulation Act of 2006, the minister, in consultation with National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), has the power to determine that new generation capacity is necessary to ensure that South African citizens receive a continuous, uninterrupted supply of power. In doing so the minister can also decide the type of energy source, how much energy is to be supplied and how it...

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