Statement by Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer
6 October 2021
I wish to thank members of the public for their patience last night. Several areas were without electricity for a long period due to a fault on an Eskom supply point.
Upon inspection, Eskom discovered that the transformer tripped and was leaking oil. Our municipal staff came on board immediately and worked throughout the night and into the early hours of this morning. The Executive Mayor and Municipal manager monitored the progress throughout.
The extent of the damage and accurate timeframes could only be ascertained from ESKOM after about two hours, and here I want to commend Director Deon Louw, who returned to his office after hours immediately and monitored the process in the field until it was properly resolved.
We had discussions with Eskom this morning to ensure backup capacity is in place if any other faults occur today.
Incidents like this is precisely why we want to co-generate electricity to ensure a more stable source of electricity– to become a more resilient municipality that can augment our electricity supply and keep the lights on.
I want to thank our residents and experts from around the world for the wonderful feedback on our quest to produce our own electricity. All these proposals will be taken into consideration by our scientific partners.
I am happy to report that the Western Cape Government is assisting us and appointed two sets of consultants that are currently compiling their own feasibility reports as part of the Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) Programme.
I am also excited to announce that the first solar panels will be installed on municipal properties before the end of this year! Even better news is that our research has shown that instead of 100KW of electricity that we initially planned for, it will now produce around 400KW. Also noteworthy is that there are already around 100 private organisations and residents generating roughly 1 MW of electricity through solar panels in our municipal area.
Whilst we still have a long way to go, great progress is being made. I want to ensure all residents that any decisions taken around our approach will be open for public participation, will serve before open council, and will be made with their best interests at heart. Furthermore, it is important to note that this programme will be implemented incrementally to ensure that it does not place undue stress on our budget.
Once again, I want to thank all residents for their patience and support throughout this process.