A multibillion-dollar climate change deal secured by South Africa will be essential in curbing Mzansi’s high carbon emissions and reducing its reliance on coal.
Agri SA has welcomed an earlier announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, that the country secured an investment to the tune of R131 billion.
This will help South Africa transition away from coal to cleaner forms of energy.
The agreement entails a partnership between the European Union, Germany, France, the UK and the US with South Africa, whereby South Africa is set to be supported in moving away from its high reliance on coal-generated electricity.
“The implications are clearly that the developed nations are seeking a rapid transition to renewable energy sources and that they see South Africa as a key role player on the African continent,” says Janse Rabie, Agri SA head of natural resources.
Together with the recent announcement of 25 preferred bidders in the next round of Mzansi’s renewable energy independent power producers procurement process (REIPPPP), the Glasgow announcement is a clear indication that SA is part of the global trend of moving away from fossil fuel-based energy generation towards cleaner renewable energy technology.
Rabie says this has the potential for significant further capital investment in South Africa and is welcomed by Agri SA from an environmental point of view.
“High-value agricultural production areas have been particularly adversely impacted by coal mining and electricity-generating activities in Mpumalanga and elsewhere.
“While Agri SA appreciates the significant implications this may have for our mining sector, the global move away from fossil-based electricity generation is inescapable and should be embraced by all role players,” says Rabie.
Details of the deal are unclear at this stage, but it is expected that the investment will be payable over the next three to five years in the form of grants, concessional loans and investment and risk-sharing instruments. This will include mobilising private-sector funding.
Power cuts at Joburg Market
Bananas and avocados had to bear the brunt of electricity woes at the Johannesburg fresh produce market after copper thieves struck the market again last week.
Although electricity has been restored since, the market – the biggest in Africa – has long been a target of copper cable thieves.
FreshPlaza.com reports that cold stores and ripening chambers couldn’t be run on the market’s generators, facilities on which bananas and avocados are heavily reliant.
While at this point bananas have been dumped, the break in the cold chain has seemingly resulted in prices for these bananas dragged down to as low as R150, even R100, for an 18kg carton of extra-large bananas (a size which is scarce at the moment).
The Johannesburg market is run by City of Johannesburg authorities, which derive an income from trade on the market, but those on the floor note that maintenance has been on the decline since the turn of the century.
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