Premier Winde meets with Western Cape municipalities to discuss energy
Twenty four of the Western Cape’s municipalities now allow for the installation of solar PV with a connection to the grid, with Bitou being the latest municipality to come on board.
This was announced at the Premier’s Coordinating Forum- a platform for where Western Cape municipalities and the provincial government meet to engage on issues affecting them. The forum, held in Cape Town today, focused exclusively on energy.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said: “The energy crisis has had a real impact on the economy in South Africa. Today was an opportunity for us to firstly receive a briefing from Eskom, and secondly to understand the impact that load shedding is having on businesses and residents in each of our municipalities.”
“I was impressed with the interesting and innovative plans municipalities have in place to mitigate the impact of load shedding- from installing desalination plants to special pumps to help pump water and sewerage during periods of load shedding. We know that a number of our municipalities, especially the bigger ones, have to grapple with these issues every time the lights go off.”
“Given the announcements around renewable energy made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address, we want to be ready to move as quickly as possible, once further announcements are made. Today’s discussions focused on where we are as a province, with mayors and municipalities sharing updates and information.”
Representatives from various municipalities expressed concerns on the impact of loadshedding on manufacturing, agriculture and small business. Others detailed the impact of loadshedding on waste water treatment and sewerage systems, either as a result of lack of energy, or because of theft and vandalism of equipment and copper, which is made easier during loadshedding periods.
Premier Winde said: “We need to do everything we can to protect jobs in our province- through mitigating measures and by looking at alternative energy solutions. We welcome the news that Bitou has become the 24th municipality to allow for small scale energy generation and now anxiously wait on clarity from the national government and the Minister of Energy, Gwede Mantashe on what President Ramaphosa’s announcements will mean.”
“I was pleased to see from Eskom’s presentation that they are taking a much more business oriented approach which is essential towards them helping to keep the lights on. Together with the steps taken by municipalities in the Western Cape, we are starting to see positive steps being taken towards energy security which is especially important in light of information coming from the CSIR which shows that loadshedding and the energy shortage could impact us for the next five years."