Cabinet drums up support for energy plan

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Cabinet has called on stakeholders in the energy sector to fully support the implementation of the plan in the paper titled “Roadmap for Eskom in a Reformed Electricity Supply Industry”.

“The roadmap envisions cost-effective electricity supply, energy security and diverse sources of energy in line with the Integrated Resource Plan, which was gazetted earlier this month and detailed the country's energy mix over the next 10 years,” Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said.

The plan was released by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on 29 October 2019.

This followed the announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his February 2019 State of the Nation Address that to improve operational efficiency, Eskom would be unbundled and separated into three subsidiaries namely transmission, generation and distribution.

“Cabinet endorses the proposals in Eskom’s business model, which is the latest blueprint to put Eskom onto a growth trajectory,” Mthembu said.

The Minister was on Thursday addressing a media briefing in Cape Town on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting that was held on Wednesday.

Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)

Meanwhile, Cabinet has welcomed the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) tabled by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

The MTBPS was presented against the backdrop of a tough local and global economy. The 2019 MTBPS proposes measures that will arrest the public expenditure and the running debt to gross domestic product (GDP).

“Cabinet is optimistic that if all South Africans join government in implementing the commitments detailed in the 2019 MTBPS, we can help grow South Africa together, increase our economic growth and the number of much-needed jobs in the country,” the Minister said.

Cabinet also noted that the results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the third quarter of 2019 released by Statistics South Africa, which indicated that the official unemployment rate increased by 0.1 of a percentage point to 29.1% compared to the second quarter of 2019.

Strategic partnerships with China

In terms of job creation, Cabinet has welcomed the signing of the strategic cooperation agreement between South African Tourism and Chinese company, Tencent, which owns the communication platform, WeChat. South Africa intends to double its international tourist arrivals from 10, 4 million to 21 million by 2030.

“The two-year partnership gives South Africa direct access to millions of potential Chinese travellers for both business and leisure, to market the country as a destination of choice,” Minister Mthembu said.

Deputy President David Mabuza is currently on a working visit in the People’s Republic of China, where he will co-chair the 7th Session of the South Africa-China Binational Commission (BNC), taking place until 3 November 2019. 

The South Africa-China BNC was established in 2002 to serve as a strategic platform to address issues of common interest such as trade promotions and economic exchanges

“Cabinet has also welcomed the Department of Basic Education’s empowerment initiative for school managers, in partnership with the government of China, which saw 25 principals sharing and engaging on best practice in the schooling environment with their Chinese counterparts in Shanghai, China,” Mthembu said.

A total of about 26 South African companies are investing in China, with a capital expenditure of R88 billion between January 2003 and August 2019.

On the other hand, a total of 88 Chinese companies are investing in South Africa, with a capital expenditure of R116 billion over the same period. –