Time for investment into the energy sector is now, says South Africa's deputy energy minister

Azuri Solar Lighting Systems.jpgfor webAfrica's economic development, industrialisation and the ability to create jobs is intrinsically linked to access to energy, South Africa's deputy minister for energy, Thembisile Majola said.

She warned the region's access levels by different countries were very low in comparison to other international countries and run the risk of not meeting the UN's sustainability targets but commended the southern region for having an installed generation capacity of around 68GW.

"In 2018, a total of 3GW was added to our generation capacity, which was funded through private and public investors," the minister told delegates at the DLO Africa Power Roundtable in London on 30 October concerning recent solar, wind and hydro projects. "The region plans to commission 4,667MW - this demonstrates our investment environment which has changed for the better," adding that gas is planned to be part of the region's energy mix. 

She said South Africa was open for business and creating policy certainty was key to attracting investors.

"For example, we hope those who want to produce components for wind towers that they wouldn't be concerned about what happens to them if the bid window for wind was only going to happen in two years time. They should be able to say that they are going to bid in Botswana or Angola, so that the factory will continue to be operational and they won't have to stop and start. This harmonious way of working is making sure that we have the economies of scale but also have some certainty around it, allowing people to bid in Botswana or Zambia. As long as you have registered with the South Africa Company Registration (SACR) you can work anywhere."

"Forums like the DLO Africa Power Roundtable are very important to us. You get to learn about innovative solutions that have come up in other areas and the possible steps we can take to have a win-win situation. 

"The time for investment into the energy sector in Africa is now. Energy is the golden thread that runs through the economy that stimulates and sustains economic growth."

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