GRAY MAGUIRE: Like it or not, Mantashe will be unable to stop the shift to renewable energy
The minister’s indifference and Eskom’s bungling are paving the way for municipalities to turn electricity consumers into electricity prosumers
Last month saw the outcome of a five-year struggle between the City of Cape Town and the department of mineral resources & energy to allow the city to procure electricity directly from independent power producers. Frustratingly for the city, the court failed to pronounce on the merits of the application and simply referred the matter back to the parties to resolve.
Given the clear lack of interest by mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe to allow such power procurement processes to go forward, the judgment in effect puts the city, and by extension all municipalities in the country, in limbo. What will it take for the courts to recognise that municipalities simply cannot rely on Eskom’s overpriced and unreliable power in the future?