Work towards development of continent, says Energy Dept

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pretoria - The Department of Energy on Tuesday reminded South Africans to work towards the development of the continent to ensure electricity supply for all.

“The Ministry of Energy wishes to remind all South Africans that it is imperative we stand together towards the building and development of our continent. In this respect, the Department of Energy is already working with a number of countries on the continent in an effort to grow energy capacity for all Africans,” it said.

In a statement condemning the current attacks on foreign nationals, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, as well as Deputy Minister Thembisile Majola said that among the potentially transformative and life changing energy projects is the Great Inga Hydropower Scheme located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The project is destined to produce electrical power for a number of countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region including South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, Namibia and Angola in the long run.

Minister Joemat-Pettersson and Deputy Minister Majola said that Sasol, a major South African energy company, currently accesses gas from gas fields in neighbouring countries, which provides energy for use in South African industries and households, and sustains thousands of jobs in South Africa.

The majority of South African crude oil is imported from African counties, such as Nigeria and Angola, to mention a few.

“Parallel to these specific energy interactions with African countries, our country already has long standing reciprocal relationships with a number of neighbouring countries from whom we procure electricity, and the water required to power our power stations.

The relationships between South Africa and its sister African countries has helped the country to electrify more than six million new households since 1994.

Government has a programme of action to reduce the backlog of connections and is committed to ensure that all households are serviced with an electricity supply.

“Our common African history and bonds of fraternity and unity is what gave impetus to the liberation struggles of South Africans. We treasure this history, and call on all South Africans to embrace our brothers and sisters, and to condemn attacks on foreign nationals in all its manifestations,” said Minister Joemat-Pettersson. –