Covering note by the Centre for Environmental Rights
Mantashe has today released a proposed amendment to the New Generation Regulations under the Electricity Regulation Act (attached), for comment in 30 days (4 June 2020).
The effect of the amendment, if passed, is that it would permit a municipality to apply to the Minister to establish new generation capacity, if it meets certain conditions for e.g is of sound financial standing and aligned with the IRP.
We are not yet sure what this means for the City of Cape Town clean energy case, which is being heard next week Monday and Tuesday (11 and 12 May). As far as we are aware, this is still set to go ahead with a virtual hearing before Judge Windell. The City may still want to proceed on the basis that its Constitutional rights and s34 (according to its interpretation) don’t require any prior permission from the Minister for it to develop its own electricity capacity. Be that as it may, this is still relevant for the case and the question of local government’s role in electricity generation.