23rd February 2024 6:39 am
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Chinese energy solutions will be used for local public services

  • Minister of Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, held a media briefing on Sunday to discuss how the emergency energy agreements signed with China will work.
  • He explained that there are two agreements in place – one for green energy and the other for public services.
  • The second agreement will be used for, “public facilities such as hospitals, clinics, correctional services, and police stations.”

Now that the dust has settled from an announcement- laden BRICS Summit 2023, it is time to unpack some of what was said at last week’s event.

To that end, Minister of Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa held a media briefing on Sunday to discuss the agreements that the South African government have signed with China when it comes to procuring emergency energy solutions.

Per SA News, Ramokgopa highlighted two of the agreements – with one outlined for future green energy projects and the other for public services.

Given the dire nature of the energy crisis currently crippling the country, the latter is more immediate interest, especially given how critical access to public services is for many South Africans struggling at the moment.

To that end the minister explained that, “It’s likely going to be targeted in key public facilities such as hospitals, clinics, correctional services, and police stations. In this regard, we will be working with the nine provincial governments for them to be able to identify sites that are suitable for this.”

“We already have a technical capacity that is supporting us in relation to the appropriateness of the technology solutions that are given to us and those that have been agreed upfront,” he added.

The wait to see these solutions in action helping to power public services should not be that long either, as the furst shipment departed China on 14th August and is currently en-route to SA. 

“We will announce at the right time when the first shipment lands and give an indication of the first public facilities that will benefit from this generous donation,” noted Ramokgopa.

As for the green energy projects, the minister highlighted the fact that China is one of the largest players globally when it comes to the development and implementation of renewable energy, which remains a key focus for government moving forward.

“The rationale for entering with the Chinese in this regard is because they are a dominant player on the renewable energy space. They have 688 gigawatts of installed capacity of renewables, a combination of PV and wind. They have done one of the biggest expansions of transmission and they have also worked on the kind of transmission modernisation required to be able to accommodate the intermittency of renewable sources,” he pointed out.

With South Africa and China strengthening relations on the back of the BRICS Summit, here’s hoping it will result in a faster turnaround when it comes to SA’s continued energy woes. 

[Image – CC BY-ND 2.0 GovernmentZA on Flickr]

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