CoCT outlines “aggressive” drive to end loadshedding at Premier's Energy Digicon
Media release: CoCT’s Executive Director of Energy outlines “aggressive” drive to end loadshedding at Premier’s 6th Energy Digicon
Premier Alan Winde hosted Mr Kadri Nassiep, Executive Director of Energy at the City of Cape Town (CoCT), at his 6th Energy Digicon today.
“Energy security of supply is the number one focus within the Cape Town municipality at this point,” Mr Nassiep stressed. He went on to explain how the municipality’s electricity tariffs are structured. He added, “Even if by some miracle the power system stabilises, there is still a huge issue around the pricing of electricity, and this hits the poorest of the poor the hardest. This has been one of the primary considerations within the city: how to develop and maintain sustainable pricing in the city to ensure that even those who use the least are afforded a proper and reliable service.”
Mr Nassiep broke down the 17.6% tariff increase for Cape Town, which is lower than the 18.6% approved by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).
This includes spending on the following critical areas:
- 0.7% for fuel;
- 0.9% for repairs and maintenance;
- 10.9% for bulk purchases;
- 1.1% for capital charges.
On some of the benefits being passed onto residents, in particular indigent households, Mr Nassiep explained, “We have been able to increase the allocation of the energy charge applicable to the poor.”
When NERSA approved the 18.6% tariff hike, the question on many citizens’ lips was and remains: is this fair, considering the growing cost of living crisis?
“No, it is not fair,” remarked the Premier in the Digicon. “The reason why it is such a steep increase is because of the corruption and maladministration at Eskom,” he added.
Turning to the CoCT’s energy resilience plan, Mr Nassiep outlined the central objective of reducing loadshedding in Cape Town by up to 4 stages over the next 36 months. “It is quite an aggressive target, but I do think we can afford to be more ambitious,” he stated. He added, “Our initiatives are based on a combination of supply and demand-side interventions.”
Alwie Lester, Special Advisor on Energy to the Premier, detailed Eskom’s plan over the next 10 to 20 years for “defleeting” the country’s coal-fired power plants. He pointed out, “This will lead to significant megawatts being taken out of the power system. This needs to be offset by alternative energy sources.”
Most of the country’s coal-fired stations are reaching the end of their lifespan and will gradually be decommissioned. This will entail a transition to renewable energy, which is expected to contribute about 50% of energy generation by 2035. Nearly 80% of South Africa’s energy needs are generated by coal currently. Mr Lester said, “By 2050, the country’s power generation capacity will be 7% coal-based, with a mix of wind, solar, battery, hydro, and gas making up the shortfall. However, we need to invest significantly now to ensure that we not only have enough power to secure current energy needs but also for economic growth.”
Premier Winde said, “In developing solutions to the energy crisis, as important as it is to find short-term interventions, which the Western Cape Government (WCG) is doing, we must also think more long-term. In other words, planning for as much as 50 or 100 years into the future when it comes to our energy and water needs.”
To watch a recording of this week’s Digicon, please visit: