The decision will allow for the lease of the Rooiwal and Pretoria West power stations to private power producers. 

The City of Tshwane announced the passing of the Rooiwal and Pretoria West power stations report following the approval of an application for another loan to the city.

On Thursday the council elected a temporary speaker and full-time chair of chairs in the absence of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillors who instead went to Mamelodi to do oversight visits regarding the water challenges in the area.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Tshwane caucus spokesperson Kwena Moloto said it welcomed the council’s passing of the Rooiwal and Pretoria West power stations report. The decision will allow for a 40-year lease of the Rooiwal and Pretoria West power stations. 

“This marks a decisive move towards the leasing of these crucial facilities to private power producers in our continued attempts to reduce our dependency on Eskom. With the green light on the report, the municipality is now poised to embark on a process of actively seeking proposals from the private sector for the operation of these power stations, injecting essential power to fortify the city’s grid,” he said.

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Moloto said the decision could lead to a significant reduction in load shedding in Tshwane, enabling businesses to keep their doors open and residents to keep their lights on.

“This as a crucial measure in bolstering our local economy and addressing Tshwane’s financial challenges. We express our gratitude to residents for their overwhelming support of this initiative during the public participation process. Together, we eagerly anticipate advancing further towards the realisation of a load shedding free capital city,” he said.

However, the feeling wasn’t mutual for opposition councillors.

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Councillor of the Republican Conference of Tshwane, Lex Middelberg, said he was shocked that the council just approved a short-term loan with Absa of R1 billion.

“To qualify we warrant that we are a going concern – we are not (as per the AG), we warrant no material litigation or arbitral matters are pending that would materially affect the finances of the city – there is a matter of about R1.1 billion of frozen staff salaries to be finally arbitrated later in the year, and then we also warrant that our annual financial statements (AFS) for 2023 has been audited – it is not – and is in all material respects complete and accurate. Our AFS, when eventually audited will likely be qualified if not disclaimed, in which case it will by definition not be complete and accurate,” he said.

Middelberg said he voted against the decision.

“My vote was minuted. No way I approve the making of those warranties, knowing they are false. Anyways, giving a loan to this coalition government is like giving an alcoholic a birthday gift of a case of brandy,” he said.

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