WCape invests R70m to 'free' six municipalities from Eskom and load shedding
- The Western Cape has allocated almost R70 million in its new budget to help municipalities generate their own electricity and buy from independent producers over the next few years.
- Last year, national government finally allowed municipalities to bypass Eskom.
- Six municipalities will get assistance to start generating or buying their own power: Drakenstein, Mossel Bay, Overstrand, Saldanha Bay, Stellenbosch, and Swartland.
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The Western Cape government is planning to spend almost R70 million in the next few years to help municipalities cut their ties with Eskom.
In its new budget, tabled on Tuesday, the province allocated R48.8 million over the medium term, and provided a further R20 million in the provincial reserves, for a new project to help municipalities generate and sell their own power, as well as buy electricity from independent producers.
The project is aimed at helping the Western Cape beat load shedding, which is costing the province R75 million a day, said David Maynier, Western Cape provincial minister of finance and economic opportunities, in his budget speech.
In the next year, six municipalities will get assistance to start generating or buying their own power: Drakenstein, Mossel Bay, Overstrand, Saldanha Bay, Stellenbosch, and Swartland.
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Among other interventions, their electricity distribution systems will be technically evaluated to confirm whether the municipalities can support new electricity generation and energy trading.
Last year, the Western Cape issued two tenders to find service providers who can assist with “strategic advice” and project development to help municipalities establish their own power procurement and generation.
This came shortly after national government finally gazetted new regulations that allow municipalities to generate their own electricity, and buy from producers other than Eskom.
Only municipalities that are in “good financial standing” will be allowed to buy or generate their own electricity.
(Compiled by Helena Wasserman)
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