In a recent announcement, President Cyril Ramaphosa conveyed a very important message to the energy industry in South Africa. With a significant policy shift away from keeping Eskom’s monopoly in power generation in the country, companies will soon be able to generate up to 100MW of power, which is substantially higher than the existing legislated cap of 1MW.
“This will remove a significant obstacle to investment in embedded generation projects. It will enable companies to build their own energy facilities to cater to their own needs,” said Ramaphosa, talking about economic reconstruction and recovery.
Welcoming this announcement for the energy sector is the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC). “We are delighted with this development as it allows ordinary companies and IPPs to now contribute significantly to the country’s energy requirements and it also creates an environment that is conducive to investment in clean energy in South Africa,” said Refilwe Monageng NAFCOC’s Gauteng spokesperson.
NAFCOC has also noted news that the mining sector is planning to accelerate their investment in energy generation projects. The Chamber believes that the planned investments provide a key opportunity for mining companies to empower talented young black entrepreneurs, and support mining communities.
Support for black entrepreneurs missing
Monageng added; “The Government’s shift in policy will create a fertile environment for growth in the mining industry. We call on the mining industry to include young black entrepreneurs as it ramps up investments in energy projects. Youth unemployment, especially in previously disadvantaged communities, is unacceptably high, and we cannot hope to achieve sustainable growth as a country, if it continues to be nearly impossible for black people to meaningfully participate in key industries like mining. The private sector has the financial and technical resources to help break through the barriers that stifle black entrepreneurs in mining — what’s missing is the will to drive broad based transformation.”
NAFCOC is a Federated Chamber comprised of over twenty industry specific sectors of the economy with approximately 2.3 million total membership. The Chamber’s main objective is to promote, unite and encourage the development of small businesses in South Africa in general and black entrepreneurs in particular, thereby drawing the majority from the peripheries of the consumption-based economy to the frontlines of production based economic activity and decision-making processes.