Statement by Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer
25 February 2021
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Stellenbosch Municipality and our research partners has been signed. The joint scientific investigation into alternate energy sources can now commence, with the panel expected to meet as early as next week.
Executive Mayor Advocate Gesie van Deventer, Stellenbosch University Rector and Vice Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers and Mr Thomas Roos of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), met yesterday and signed the MOU.
The document sets out the roles of each party and the scope of the investigation. The investigation will draw on the extensive intellectual capital of the Stellenbosch University and the CSIR as well as the civic infrastructure of the municipality to address the energy developmental needs of our communities. In terms of the MOU, all parties will work in a non-partisan manner with local business and industry, non-governmental and community organisations towards sustainable energy development.
A separate MOU will be concluded with the Western Cape Government in order to facilitate their independence when dealing with procurement matters.
While there is still a long road ahead in the battle against load shedding, the recent decision by council to scientifically investigate alternates and the signing of the MOUs, puts Stellenbosch in the lead to potentially become the first municipality in the country to eliminate load shedding.
The investigation will look into the need, viability and opportunities available to us by focussing on various potential sources of energy, including –
- Rooftop solar panels;
- Methane gas mining at our landfill sites;
- Allowing the public to generate electricity and sell this to the municipality;
- Purchasing electricity directly from registered IPPs;
- The selling of electricity to willing buyers from outside our municipal area;
As South Africa’s Valley of Opportunity and Innovation, we look forward to walking alongside our research partners on this journey towards more energy independence. We are committed to conducting our investigation in a scientifically rigorous and transparent manner, and will be providing more details on this venture once the findings of the investigation are tabled before Council.