INFRASTRUCTURE NEWS /27 FEBRUARY 2019 - 12.03 / STAFF REPORTER
The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) has attracted R209.4 billion in committed private sector investment, to the country.
Speaking at a media briefing recently Energy minister Jeff Radebe outlined some of the significant impact the REIPPP has had on the economy, job creation, community upliftment, economic transformation and climate change.
Looking at community upliftment the minister highlighted that renewable IPPs have created 38 701 jobs years for youth and women from the surrounding communities
“Local communities have benefited from over R1 billion spent by IPPs on education by upskilling teachers, providing extra teachers and classrooms, as well as awarding over 600 bursaries to students from disadvantaged communities.”
Black South African equity shareholding
With regards to the Black South African equity shareholding in the REIPP programme, it has progressively increased with each bidding round.
Radebe said the South African equity shareholding across Bid Window 1 to Bid Window 4 and Smalls Bid Windows 1 and 2 equates to 52% – R31.4 billion- of the total equity of R60.9 billion. This is substantially more than the 40% requirement.
Broad-based black participation is also secured across the value chain through community participation, including in engineering, procurement, construction, operations and maintenance contractors where black ownership amounts to 21%.
Reduced carbon emissions
Turning to the environment Radebe noted that the REIPP programme’s contribution has meant that South Africa’s carbon emission is reduced by about 33.2 million tonnes (Mton) carbon dioxide (CO2) and water savings of 39.2 million kilolitres achieved by 31 December 2018.
“I acknowledge the programme is not perfect and can be improved in specific areas. However, we need to embrace that the programme that has done so much for the country and has received international acknowledgement,” Radebe said.
Energy and enabler of ensuring human rights
He said energy is central to the economy and an enabler in ensuring human rights in respect of access to food and water.
With techno-economic shifts transitioning to the energy sector, the minister said the programme holds further exciting opportunities for growth.
“The energy sector is at the cusp of an exciting period, reminiscent of the huge changes brought about by rapid technological advancement in the mobile telephony industry in recent years.
“We need to be prepared for the disruptive times that the fourth industrial revolution will bring and adjust in a responsible way,” the minister said.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER