The Mother City’s move away from Eskom dependency has been delayed following a court ruling that suggests Cape Town first finish all negotiations with the government on the matter.
Currently, Cape Town is buying all its electricity from national power utility Eskom, but the City would like to seek out more sustainable and reliable power sources. The High Court elected not to rule on whether the City has the constitutional right or power to buy its own electricity elsewhere.
The City’s initial lawsuit aimed at achieving the legal right to seek out electricity suppliers other than Eskom was first filed in 2017 and has only been addressed as of May this year.
The decision means Cape Town’s freedom from Eskom will be delayed even further as the City attempts to exhaust negotiations with the government.
If the Mother City is allowed to go forward with its sustainable energy plans, it could lead the way for provinces across South Africa as the first to establish its own power-purchasing office and relieve its residents of load shedding woes.
Despite the court’s ruling, the City of Cape Town is determined to break away from Eskom in future.
“The City of Cape Town maintains that local governments have the constitutional power to procure renewable energy, and will keep standing up for the rights of our residents to live in a more energy secure and future fit city,” said Executive Mayor, Dan Plato in a statement.
“We will keep fighting for a more sustainable, climate-wise future, and residents can take heart that this journey continues toward the future that we want in Cape Town. To this end, we are engaging National Treasury on the development of a national municipal renewable energy procurement programme. Recently, the City transferred a R54 million property for the development of the Atlantis Special Economic Zone (SEZ), a central development in our growth as a greentech capital,” concluded Plato.