President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa is driving reforms in the electricity sector to enable private investment in electricity generation and accelerate the procurement of new generation capacity, including solar, wind, gas and battery storage.
“We are implementing the national Energy Action Plan to increase the current supply of energy and to achieve energy security in the long-term,” President Ramaphosa said.
Speaking at the South Africa–Finland Roundtable Business Forum held in Menlyn, east of Pretoria, on Tuesday, President Ramaphosa said South Africa is in the grip of an energy crisis.
The Business Forum was attended by government representatives and business leaders from the two countries.
“Even as we work to improve the performance and efficiency of our existing coal-fired power stations to address energy shortages, we remain committed to a just energy transition, and to our target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
“A just transition to a low carbon, climate-resilient, greener economy forms part of South Africa’s global climate change commitments. We believe that there is alignment between our objectives and Finland’s goals,” President Ramaphosa said.
On the economic front, President Ramaphosa said South Africa is ready for a partnership with Finnish companies willing to do business in South Africa.
“Our team at InvestSA would be very keen to have discussions with yourselves to see how we can support Finnish companies with projects in South Africa to enable greater levels of funding for Finnfund. South Africa’s value proposition is the diversity and sophistication of our economy.
“We have also noted, in terms of Finland’s Africa strategy, that at least 50% of the value of Finnfund’s new funding decision is geared towards investments in Africa,” President Ramaphosa said.
President Ramaphosa said Finland intends to double trade with Africa.
“Furthermore, [Finland is] committed to increasing investments from Finnish companies into Africa between 2020 and 2030.
“Finnish companies have a presence in South Africa in the packaging, industrial cranes, metals, digitisation, green finance, energy, fleet management and mining equipment sectors, amongst others.
“Finnish business can also support Africa’s economic integration and intra-African trade,” the President said.
Finland is an important partner to South Africa and despite its small population and territory, it is amongst the most developed countries in the world and provides valuable trade, investment and development cooperation to South Africa.
Finland is also a strong international partner in areas of various global issues such as strengthening multilateralism, international law, peacebuilding and mediation, the advancement of gender and human rights as well as around issues of renewable energy.
Since 2010, Finland has been supportive of South Africa’s national priorities and continues to be a reliable partner in various sectors, including maritime, science and technology, ICT and digitalisation, environment, energy, education, skills development, agriculture and water. – SAnews.gov.za