Durban — The eThekwini Municipality Electricity Unit is planning to host the Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities (AMEU) 2022 convention in October.
A report tabled before the eThekwini executive council stated the convention was expected to cost the city R1.3 million as a co-payment for hosting it at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.
The report stated that it would also be an opportunity to officially introduce and swear in eThekwini project executive Jayshree Pershad, who was nominated as vice-president (elect) and subsequently president of the AMEU from October 2020.
The AMEU has also been formally appointed as the technical support association for the SA Local Government Association, to advise on various issues related to the electricity supply and distribution industry, such as tariffs, electrification standards and projects, Eskom, the National Energy Regulator of SA, quality of supply issues and technical innovations.
In January 2018, the eThekwini council decided that Pershad should accept the position. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 convention was postponed and a virtual convention was held in November 2021.
The report stated that the convention will promote the interests of electrical utilities and collaborate with other stakeholders in the pursuance of bringing together municipal council or board representatives, electrical engineers and managers and all persons interested in the advancement and development of electricity utilities and to promote wider contact and the exchange of views.
The convention will also foster the establishment of organisations outside of South Africa with objectives similar to those of the association and assist them technically and financially. It will also provide training in the utilities environment and promote quality of service and management.
During the meeting, opposition parties raised concerns about the amount of money and suggested that the convention be held via Microsoft Teams.
DA eThekwini caucus leader Thabani Mthethwa said it was quite a lot of money that was being spent in the current economic environment.
Deputy mayor of eThekwini Philani Mavundla said the convention would have an economic spin-off, with delegates spending money and boosting tourism.
The chairperson of eThekwini governance and human capital committee and ANC member councillor Nkosenhle Madlala hoped the long-term prospects of the city as an electricity provider would be on the agenda.