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Cape Town earmarks R4 billion to upgrade power grid and end load shedding

In a strategic move towards becoming the nation’s first load-shedding-free city, the City of Cape Town has unveiled plans to invest over R4 billion in upgrading and maintaining its electricity grid infrastructure over the next three years. This initiative forms part of the City’s proposed Building for Jobs Budget for 2024/25.

The investment aims to fortify the city’s grid to accommodate a dynamic and decentralized energy landscape. As Cape Town transitions from a reliance on Eskom to a diverse array of energy sources, including individual solar producers and large-scale independent power producers, the upgraded grid is expected to facilitate economic growth and job creation within the region.

Beverley van Reenen, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, emphasized the necessity of substantial investments in grid infrastructure to combat load-shedding. “Any city hoping to end load-shedding simply must invest heavily in upgrading its electricity grid infrastructure,” she stated. “With these investments, we are ensuring that Cape Town’s grid infrastructure can cope with a dynamic new energy future.”

The planned investments also address challenges posed by vandalism, theft, and load-shedding damage. By enhancing resilience and minimizing vulnerabilities, the City aims to safeguard its infrastructure and reduce the incidence of vandalism over time.

Furthermore, progress is underway on initiatives to protect against the initial four stages of Eskom’s load-shedding by 2026. Already, the City provides load-shedding protection of up to two stages where feasible, offering significant benefits to the regional economy.

Van Reenen highlighted the significance of the Building for Jobs budget, emphasizing the reinvestment of electricity sales income for the city’s economic development and job creation. “The City’s Building for Jobs budget clearly shows how the City is re-investing the income from electricity sales to the benefit of our economy and job creation,” she concluded.

The ambitious grid upgrade initiative underscores Cape Town’s commitment to sustainable energy solutions and positions the city as a frontrunner in South Africa’s renewable energy transition.


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