Flash Briefing: Load shedding to end in CPT, say mayor; every SA home to receive data, says Ntshavheni; new pension fund changes coming

  • Cape Town will be the first city free of load shedding in South Africa, says mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis. Speaking at the Solar Power Africa conference on Wednesday (16 February), Hill-Lewis said the city has now opened its first round of procurement of power from independent power producers (IPPs), with Cape Town issuing tenders to procure 300MW of additional renewable energy – much of which will be generated by solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, he said. “We will be considering proposals from IPPs for projects that will allow us to access an affordable and reliable electricity supply. We are particularly eager for proposals from IPPs that are able to help us eliminate our reliance on Eskom during peak times of use.” Hill-Lewis said the city will consider proposals from a range of projects, including generation-only projects, generation plus storage, and storage only.
  • Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says that every South African will be given access to the internet as a core utility. In her state of the nation debate on Tuesday (15 February), Ntshavheni said that advancements in technology such as 5G and the planned release of valuable data spectrum will lead to the government offering ‘prescribed minimum data’ to the home. “Data has become a new utility like water and electricity that our home needs,” she said. The plan also states that high-speed broadband will be available and accessible in every community by 2023/24.
  • The National Treasury will introduce new pension fund regulations for South Africa before the end of February, says deputy finance minister David Masondo. The changes are aimed at ‘unlocking’ new investment in infrastructure by the private sector and form part of the process to amend Regulation 28 of the Pensions Fund Act to enable retirement funds to invest in infrastructure, Masondo said. He added: “These amendments introduce more effective maximum limits for the trustees of retirement funds to invest for the long term, in various forms of infrastructure projects.”