The city of Tshwane has admitted to Eyewitness News that the South African capital is still in the early stages when it comes to finding alternative energy sources.

CAPE TOWN – The City of Tshwane has confessed Eyewitness news that the South African capital is still on the drawing board when it comes to finding alternative energy sources.

A political row has erupted over an unsolicited R26 billion bid to revive two old coal-fired power stations in Pretoria, with opposition parties accusing Mayor Randall Williams of meddling in the potential deal, claims he has since denied.

Amidst all this, Eskom is now threatening to shut down Pretoria because of its 1.6 billion rand debt.

READ: How far are SA metros from taking advantage of the 100MW IPP waiver? Not really

In the weeks before the coal plant controversy erupted, Eyewitness News interviewed Darryl Johnston, a spokesperson for Tshwane MMC Utilities, about the city’s plans for independent power generation, if any.

Tshwane Metro said the Pretoria West and Rooiwal power stations, dating from the 1950s and 1960s, were placed for care and maintenance back in 2013 and have been collecting dust ever since.

MMC Darryl Johnston believes the plan has always been to bring in an outside organization to refurbish and repurpose the old pair, as Tshwane itself does not have the money to do so.

“We are looking at what can be done on these sites with these licences, but not that they are huge generation licences, because between them the total generation capacity is 480MW, which is a quarter of our daily needs. ” Johnston said.

While these plants continue to rot, it appears that it is still very early days for MMC and Tshwane when it comes to purchasing power from independent producers, as Eyewitness News found that most other metros are more advanced in their IPP plans.

“We’re open to all kinds of solutions, and that’s part of the task force team that we’re going to build and work with to cast the net as far and as wide as we can so we can see what options are out there,” MMC said.

This means that for the foreseeable future Tshwane is a sitting duck with Eskom holding all the power.

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