Third coal-fired electric power station going ahead
The South African government is going ahead with plans to build the third coal-fired electricity power station to support Medupi and Kusile stations.
Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, says the recent Cabinet Lekgotla decided to immediately take steps to resolve South Africa’s energy constraints. Other measures include finalising the process of authorising shale gas exploration in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner and exploring opportunities in the biofuels industry.
Speaking to reporters today, 22 August, Davies said Cabinet noted that the country’s economy could no longer rely heavily on the global economy to re-ignite growth and job creation. Energy was central to South Africa’s economic growth.
“The focus of government, business and labour must be on accelerated implementation of domestic plans to grow the economy in an exclusive way and create jobs as well as seizing opportunities in the region,” Davies said.
The state will further:
- Accelerate the delivery of the various infrastructure programmes overseen by the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Council.
- Stimulate agriculture and agro-processing by finalising the Agricultural Policy Action Plan by end of September.
- Stabilise the mining sector by supporting the Framework Agreement for Support Mining Industry as led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
- Improve support for the small business sector by creating a one stop shop and portal for SMMEs.
In June, Eskom, employers and labour at the Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power station construction sites reached an agreement to stabilise labour relations and speed up the delivery of the power stations.
The two power stations are crucial to relieve South Africa’s tight energy supply situation.
Davies said the extended Cabinet meeting also resolved to upscale youth and public employment through a new phase of the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) and the expansion of the community works programme. This would include implementation of youth employment incentives and the employment tax incentive for special economic zones.
The current phase of the EPWP is coming to an end and more than three million work opportunities have been created since the programme’s inception in 2004.
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