Just energy transition must include youth

Friday, May 13, 2022

Mineral Resources and Energy Deputy Minister, Dr Nobuhle Nkabane, says the youth have a vital role to play in South Africa’s just energy transition.

The Deputy Minister was speaking to youth in mining on the final day of the Invest in Africa Mining Indaba held in Cape Town this week.

“The youth must feature prominently in this Just Energy Transition programmes and the new economic opportunities that are being created. We are firmly committed to the exploration of clean coal technologies through carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).

“Young people must equally take an interest in this, as any success in this regard would mean the country can continue exploiting its coal reserves for the foreseeable future whilst achieving our net zero emission targets. Environmental problems are in fact economic opportunities as we seek to solve them,” Nkabane said.

She encouraged the youth to take advantage of government’s procurement of additional energy generation.

“Young people must participate in the procurement of new energy capacity. Part of the commitment made when entering into such procurement deals, is local participation which is where you can come in as the youth.

“Government has further promulgated as law the generation of embedded electricity generation by private utilities for up to 100 MW without the need for a license. Yet again, young people must seize the opportunity and foster partnerships,” she said.

The Deputy Minister reiterated government’s support to the future miners of the country.

“The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy is further committed to support small scale mining and Junior Miners. It is important to note that applications for mining permits, and mining rights are open to all, irrespective of age, race, and gender. Young people must be supported to apply for such rights,” she said.

Meanwhile, also at the Mining Indaba, Saudi Arabian mining and fertilizer company Ma’aden announced that it will be opening new regional offices in South Africa.

Ma’aden CEO Robert Wilt said the move will solidify its presence in Africa with operations already in countries such as Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“[The] announcement reinforces our commitment to the African agriculture market, as it is a strategic growth area for our fertilizer business, and part of our long-term value creation plan to grow Ma’aden into one of the top miners in the world.

“Africa is one of the world’s fastest growing agricultural regions and will generate approximately 30% of global demand for phosphate fertilizers over the next decade. Most of this demand will come from East and South Africa, regions that are near Saudi Arabia. Our new office will allow us to better service South Africa and its neighboring countries, offering supply chain solutions for farmers as we expand our phosphate production volume in the near term to support food sustainability programs in several African countries,” Wilt said. – SAnews.gov.za

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