Climate Change South Africa: Ramaphosa Stresses the Need for Fair Transition to New Forms of Power Generation

  • SA Presdent, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa emphasised that the poorest of the poor in South Africa will be the hardest hit by climate change.
  • South Africa is taking steps to finalise the national Climate Change Bill, which will provide a regulatory framework for the management of climate change and its impacts.
  • South Africa is now getting renewable energy at some of the lowest tariffs in the world.
  • Africa must remain united and speak with one voice on the key climate change issues facing the Continent.

Speaking yesterday at his response to the debate on his State of the Nation Address, South African president, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa announced that it is time South Africans take climate change seriously. “Unless we tackle climate change, we will not be able to meet our developmental objectives,” he announced.

He emphasised that the poorest of the poor in South Africa will be the hardest hit by climate change. “We need to act with greater urgency to respond to the effects of climate change. The rural poor are most affected by the droughts that have become more frequent and which last longer. The urban poor are most affected by the impact this has on food prices and the availability of water” he said.

Ramaphosa added “As part of the country’s efforts to build a sustainable low carbon economy, we are taking steps to finalise the national Climate Change Bill, which will provide a regulatory framework for the management of climate change and its impacts”.

He said South Africa is due to be the next coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change, which is vital in ensuring that Africa remains united and speaks with one voice on the key climate change issues facing the Continent.

Ramaphosa said South Africa, through its renewable energy program (REIPPP), has been buying clean energy from Independent Power Producers at lower and lower rates with every bid cycle. He added that South Africa is now getting renewable energy at some of the lowest tariffs in the world.

“Under the REIPP programme to date, a total of 112 projects have been procured and it is envisaged that these projects will create 114,266 job years over the construction and 20 year operations period.”

Ramaphosa drove home the point that government will work with all stakeholders to ensure that the gradual transition towards new forms of electricity generation creates jobs, develops new capabilities and does not negatively affect the livelihoods of communities.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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