Section 34 Ministerial Determinations
The Western Cape gov calls on energy department to finalise Section 34 Ministerial Determinations. Image credit: 123rf.

The Western Cape government has welcomed the announcement from the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has provided its concurrence to three Section 34 Ministerial Determinations issued in February.

The local government stressed that this move by NERSA opens the way for the procurement of 11,813MW of new electricity capacity in line with the IRP 2019 and paves the way for the more energy security in South Africa and the Western Cape.

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In a statement, the local government said: “We now call on Minister Mantashe to urgently sign and gazette the final Section 34 Ministerial Determinations. This would be the next step in opening up the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) bid window 5, the Gas Independent Power Producer programme (GasIPP), and energy storage procurement.”

The Western Cape government further noted that the opening of bid window 5 will not only allow for increased energy security but will be a critical step in South Africa’s energy transition towards a greener energy future.

The Western Cape is an attractive investment location for renewable energy projects, housing 12 renewable energy IPP projects and the head offices of 89 renewable energy companies.

“The opening of bid window 5 will allow for more renewable energy projects to be located in the Western Cape and will further support the renewable energy industry and give rise to green industrialisation opportunities in our Green Tech focussed Atlantis Special Economic Zone aimed at further boosting the economy in the Western Cape,” reads part of the statement.

The local government underlined that businesses in the Western Cape are already hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, “and so it is absolutely urgent that Minister Mantashe finalises and gazettes these Section 34 Ministerial Determinations as well as fast tracking the procurement of new electricity generation to mitigate the medium-term impacts of loadshedding.”