Households of Skeem Saam in Lotus River switched on

21 Jul 2023 in Where We Govern

The City’s Electricity Generation and Distribution Department switched on the electricity to 43 homes in the Skeem Saam informal settlement in Lotus River this week. On land owned by the City of Cape Town, more than 98% of longer-existing informal areas have been connected to the electricity grid, where it is feasible to do so. Read more below:

The City is pleased to announce that 43 more households have been connected to the electricity grid in the Skeem Saam informal settlement in Lotus River. The City has spent R666 341 on the electrification project. The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen, attended the switch on event.

‘The Skeem Saam informal settlement electrification project kicked off in March 2023 and all connections were completed by May this year. This project will immediately improve the lives of residents and it will greatly reduce fire risks during the fire seasons. Open flames, especially those left unattended, and the use of gas and paraffin are leading causes of fire incidents in informal settlements and we are pleased that this project will enhance the safety of the entire community. Skeem Saam learners who usually study by candlelight in the evening can now do so by turning on a switch in their homes and extend the time they have in the evening to study safely.

‘We thank all City electricity officials and contractors for their work in this community as well as in other areas where we are bringing electricity to many more residents. Electrification is one of the best and effective ways of improving the lives of residents,’ said Councillor Van Reenen.

In City-supplied areas and on City-owned land, almost all informal settlements in the metro have been connected to electricity, where it has been possible to do so. 


City supplied areas vs Eskom supply

Some areas in the City of Cape Town are supplied with electricity directly by Eskom and others by the City. This is not something which is determined by the City but under national legislation. While the City values service delivery to residents, there are limits to what the City or its representatives can achieve, as Eskom is a national entity and does not fall within the control of the City. The supply areas are established under the National Electricity Regulation Act via National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) issued Distribution Licences. The Eskom distribution licence defines the Eskom supply area within the City of Cape Town and the City’s distribution licence defines the City’s supply area.

Ending load-shedding over time

The City also continues to build on its programme of ending load-shedding over time by focusing on energy diversification to enhance security of supply with the City’s own build projects, small-scale embedded generation programmes of buying excess power from qualifying customers, wheeling and independent power producer programmes.

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