Pandor hopes SA will learn from Greece's renewables-based energy system

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, believes that the experience Greece has acquired over time in green power resources would be of immense value to South Africa as the country diversifies its own energy. 

This comes as government announced a series of interventions aimed at solving the country’s worsening power crisis and expanding electricity availability to ease the ongoing load shedding.

According to some reports, Greece relies on a range of sources for electricity, with no one source accounting for more than 50%. In August of 2022, the non-profit online publication NPR said natural gas and renewable sources, such as wind and solar, accounted for the most power.  

Pandor on Tuesday hosted her counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikolaos Dendias, for a bilateral meeting in Pretoria.

“We’ve agreed on the number of areas that we want to explore further education, collaboration and support to South Africa as it addresses its energy challenges.”

Pandor also spoke about shipbuilding, which is at the heart of the Greece economy and ranks as the world's largest ship-owning nation.

“Greece is a renowned voyager and shipbuilder and we believe we could draw on that experience to help build our own shipbuilding sector in this country,” the Minister said.

“And anyone who is a sensible traveller knows they must tour Greece at least once in their life.”

The Minister described the European nation as a beautiful country, with wonderful tourist facilities.

“Tourism is a very important economic sector and we’d love to learn from our colleagues in Greece as to how we can improve our service and how we can expand the tourism sector to increase the current contribution to the gross domestic product of South Africa.”

“So, we've got an agenda already and have agreed there’s work that we must do together. And this is just the beginning of the steps toward a much stronger relationship.”

The Minister told her counterpart that South Africa has a “sizable” community with Greek history and that the community plays a very important role within the small and medium enterprise sector in various sectors, especially in pharmaceutical products.

“And of course, the delicious food that we enjoy in many Greek restaurants throughout our country. So, it is a community that has made its presence very positively felt in South Africa.”

Dendias said the talks were a great opportunity to build upon the very solid foundation of the relationship with South Africa.

“We have excellent cooperation in international organisations starting with the United Nations. I am grateful to South Africa for your support in our campaign to be elected to the United Nations Security Council.”

In addition, Greece’s Foreign Minister said they respect South Africa's position on a number of international issues. –