The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has approved municipalities to buy electricity from independent power producers (IPP).

In new rules gazetted by the Department, municipalities in good financial standing will now be allowed to formulate an energy plan that does not rely solely on the government-run Eskom.

This comes after a dispute between the government and the City of Cape Town. Earlier this year the City sued the government to allow it to continue with its plans to procure its own energy.

The City had planned new strategies to mitigate the damaging effects Eskom’s unstable power supply had on the city’s residents and businesses.

While this new ruling solves this issue, municipalities will still be required to get permission from the government to continue with these independent plans.

“The amendments to the regulations clarify the regime applicable to municipalities when requesting determinations under Section 34 of the Electricity Amendment Act,” Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe told Business Tech.

“This will ensure an orderly development that is in line with the applicable Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs).”

Mantashe confirmed that an internal mechanism will be put in place to ensure requests under these new rules are processed as fast as possible.

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