Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, has accused the DA-run Western Cape and City of Cape Town of behaving like “spoilers” for taking him and his department to court over the city’s bid to purchase electricity directly from independent power producers.
In an interview with energy expert Chris Yelland, Mantashe is quoted as saying: “The City of Cape Town must talk to us instead of going to court.”
The reality is that this court case is years in the making. The City followed all due process, and applied for a section 34 determination to allow it to purchase directly from IPPs in November 2015, and was met with obstruction and unwillingness on the part of various ministers and the Department of Energy.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is committed to ensuring that all residents and businesses receive the electricity they need. We are committed to an open and transparent electricity market where all power producers (including Eskom) compete on a level playing field.
It is for this reason that we introduced the Independent Electricity Management Operator private member’s bill to parliament, to allow IPPs to sell to the grid and to allow those metropolitan municipality with the capability and resources to purchase directly from IPPs.
The fact of the matter is that Minister Mantashe is all talk, and no action. He claims the City must withdraw its case and interact with him. But for 5 years, he and his predecessors have blocked every attempt to move forward and allow the City to secure its own energy supply.
If it takes a court case to get him to move on this issue, so be it.