Exclusive interview with Thabo Mahlatsi, the Director of the Energy Sector in the Infrastructure and Services Department in the City of Johannesburg – the host city for African Utility Week.
What would you regard as the biggest energy challenges that Johannesburg is facing?
Energy usage in all sectors is on the increase and as a result the pressure on the networks and infrastructure of electricity is high. Little and slow uptake of alternative renewable energy sources will make the situation even worse particularly during winter months. DSM endeavours by City Power alone, without the citizens may not help in alleviating energy challenges. This situation is akin to insufficient measures to increase security of supply.
How are you tackling these?
DSM will be the main focus of the City going forward and intensive community education and awareness will be the crux of measures to be taken in the first half of the 2012-2013 financial year.
What are you most excited about in terms of energy projects that are in the pipeline?
The off grid solutions that will be done this year, that will provide total household energy solutions. These projects will include the use of an energy mix that will diversify the use of energy resources.
Why has the City of Joburg decided to partner with African Utility Week?
This is the arena in which shared experience, knowledge, and new technologies takes place. It is a place of learning and seeing.
What will be the City of Joburg’s message at African Utility Week?
Watch this space, we are coming with alternative energy sources that will make Joburg the benchmark to show how best energy resources can be utilised to benefit citizens.
Anything else you would like to mention?
Critical to all of the above, Joburg will be the centre of excellence in terms of policy framework, and practical implementation of low carbon economic infrastructure that will be the benchmark for all municipalities in the country and even internationally.