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City of CT pins hopes on court to help alleviate load shedding pain

The DA-run City of Cape Town has taken the national Energy Department to court to allow independent power producers to supply the city with electricity.

Western Cape community safety MEC Alan Winde (left), City of Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato (centre), and Safety and Security Mayco member JP Smith. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) is pinning its hope on the courts to bring some relief to consumers from the nationwide Eskom crisis.

The DA-run City of Cape Town has taken the national Energy Department to court to allow independent power producers to supply the city with electricity.

Speaking on the Eskom crisis at a press briefing in Bellville on Wednesday, Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato says that they are waiting for the South Gauteng High Court to determine a date.

The City of Cape Town filed its first court papers in 2017, challenging Eskom's exclusive rights to procure electricity for resale from independent suppliers.

The city buys almost all of its electricity from Eskom.

As Eskom's woes deepen, Mayor Dan Plato says they are doing all they can.

"We want to loosen ourselves from Eskom. There is a lot of private energy producers in the Western Cape. We want to spread our wings."

In 2015, the city applied to then Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson for a determination that would allow it to purchase renewable energy from independent power suppliers.

That application was never determined.

The city now wants a determination to purchase up to 400 megawatts of renewable energy from independent suppliers.