Ricochet News

Minister of Energy announces R15-million energy pilot project for NMB

By Jesica Slabbert - Jul 22, 2016
Minister of Energy announces R15-million energy pilot project for NMB

Energy Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson on Thursday announced the launch of a new R150-million pilot project for renewable and sustainable energy to be utilised in Nelson Mandela Bay, called the Integrated National Energy Programme.

Speaking at the launch of the project outside City Hall the Minister said that this pilot programme would ensure non-grid electrification through the use of solar power in informal settlements.

She announced that the project would be allocated for Seaview in response to communities not making use of illegal power lines.

“My department has agreed to assist your Metro with your progressive programme to develop technology and to eradicate all illegal connections within this Municipality,” she said while addressing Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan.

“We are committing to putting in systems to ensure that the long term sustainability of your electricity network is in place. The R150-million which we are availing to you for the next three financial years will be spent as fast as you can spend it. So the more you spend and the quicker you spend the money, the more money we’ll allocate to you,” she said.

She went on to mention what kind of new technology would be utilised for this project and ensure that it would last for a long time.

“The technology which we are holding here includes better smart meter technology for electricity, and water. It includes the manufacturing of this technology in South Africa by South Africans, it includes pre and post-paid smart meter technology. So the primary purpose of our energy system therefore must contribute to a better quality of life but also towards a better price for quality of life,” she said

The visit was informed by the strategic deliverables of the department as envisioned for 2016/17 and beyond. These include the promotion of universal energy access, ensuring security of supply, promoting mixed energy resource utilisation, and promoting resource conservation awareness through the work of the various line function branches.

“I would like all learners in the Nelson Mandela Bay to have access to electricity and light, so that they can read and learn. It is not possible to talk about access to electricity without considering a generation of electricity, and the generation of this electricity should be through renewable energy,” she said.

After the launch Mayor Jordaan spoke to the media about future investments into renewable energy in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

“The total cost of that project is R150-million, the Minister will provide us with that money to roll out the project, and the project has already started and it should be accelerated,” he told the media.

Jordaan stated that the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro was the leading metro in regards to renewable energy, and that they hope to expand it by receiving further investments that will help provide renewable energy towards the industry.

 “We have both solar energy and also the wind turbines contributing to the renewable energy mix. This is important to provide sustainable energy for the entire metro,” explained Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan

Jordaan mentioned that this project to bring renewable and sustainable energy will help cut down on illegal connections in the Metro.

After the launch Joemat-Pettersson then conducted a walkabout in the areas of Walmer, Seaview, and the Couga IDZ to interact directly with the community, and industry players.