By Annisa Essack
In a major shift in South Africa’s electricity landscape, some municipalities will be allowed to procure their own electricity. Municipalities that have settled their power bill with ESKOM will soon be able to generate their own electricity rather than buying electricity solely from the state-owned utility.
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe gazetted the amendments to the Electricity Regulations on New Generation Capacity on Friday.
The new regulations require municipalities to apply to the minister of Mineral Resources and Energy to “procure or buy new generation capacity in accordance with the Integrated Resource Plan” and demand that municipalities comply with various requirements, including that they must submit feasibility studies about the projects.
It appears that qualifying municipalities will be able to both generate their own power and buy power directly from independent power providers (IPPs).
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy says that it is putting in place an “internal standard operating procedure” to ensure that the requests for new power generation are attended to in the shortest possible time.
The cities of Cape Town and Ekurhuleni may be the first to procure their own electricity.
This may be bad news for Eskom, but it is great news for South Africans!