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The transition to a clean energy future is inevitable, lets embrace it!

Summary

  • The African Centre for a Green Economy welcomes the signing of the 27 renewable energy power purchase agreements after a two year delay.
  • The IPP’s should build strong partnerships with the local communities that go beyond mere compliance to create sustainable meaningful inclusive impact for all.

Cape Town, 5th April 2018 – The African Centre for a Green Economy (AfriCGE) welcomes the signing of the 27 renewable energy power purchase agreements by the Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe after a two year delay which has caused a lot uncertainty in the sector. We are glad the South African government has honoured its commitment to transitioning to a clean energy future as part of it efforts to combat climate change, as per the Paris agreement.

We are cognizant of the recent threat from the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) not to vote for the ANC in the 2019 general elections because of the perceived losses of jobs resulting from the pursuit of clean power. We however categorically reject this view. The potential for job creation from the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) is very clear and will not result in the demise of other energy sources. Even though in the long the goal should be to decouple SA’s economy from an energy intensive trajectory.

It is therefore important for the country to chart a clean economy trajectory considering that the impact of climate change will be catastrophic especially among the poorest and most vulnerable. The transition to a green economy presents opportunities, but with potential implications for the future of work. Change is however inevitable, so instead of NUMSA fighting this transition, they should embrace it and prepare their members accordingly.

We therefore call on all stakeholders including the trade unions to partake in this transition journey, and to reskill their members to capitalize on these emerging opportunities.

IPPs too, have a big responsibility to make sure that they impact local communities positively, to not only guarantee their social license to operate, but to also build a truly inclusive economy in South Africa. We therefore call on the IPPPs to build strong partnerships with local communities that go beyond mere compliance to one anchored on creating shared value for all.