H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled the Government’s Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET IP) during a virtual meeting of the Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) on November 4.
The Investment Plan – as a basis for South Africa’s transition towards a low carbon economy and climate resilient society – has been endorsed by the country’s Cabinet and Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Just Energy Transition Partnership and will involve the engagement and discussion of various sectors throughout the country which will be facilitated by the PCC.
“It is about addressing the global risks of climate change while creating jobs and driving more rapid and inclusive economic growth,” H.E. President Ramaphosa stated, adding, “and to do so while promoting sustainable development and ensuring a just transition for affected workers and communities.”
The unveiling of the partnership was announced ahead of the 2022 The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) – which is currently underway, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Established at last year’s climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, the partnership will serve to support South Africa’s energy transition, outlining the Government’s comprehensive strategies to finance the country’s decarbonization commitments while ensuring a sustainable, equitable and just transition for all citizens.
During his commission address, the President outlined the investments required to achieve South Africa’s decarbonization commitments, highlighting the pledge of $8.5 billion by countries including France, Germany, the UK and the U.S. to support the Southern African country’s transition.
“What is very important to highlight is that the ‘just’ component is very central to the transition of the energy sector and that just investments are embedded alongside technical ones to ensure that workers and communities are not left behind,” stated Daniel Mminele, Head of the Presidential Climate Finance Task Team, adding that, “Between next year and 2024, South Africa needs to prioritize strengthening the grid, accelerating renewable energy investments and preparing communities and local government for the phasing-down effects of decarbonization, in the form of either mine and plant closure or repurposing.”
Under the PCC, H.E. President Ramaphosa published a blueprint for the country’s energy transition, laying the groundwork for how the pledge will be spent, with the investment plan envisaging that 90% of the funds be used to decommission coal-fired power plants while investing in electricity infrastructure and new renewable energy systems and the reskilling and upskilling of the labor force on a considerable scale in the wake of the creation of new industries.
“The successful catalyzation of priority investments under JET IP and the broader energy aspirations of South Africa rely on on-going engagement and inclusion of all social partners to ensure our country plans reflect the needs of affected constituencies and achieves a just and inclusive impact,” stated Vali Moosa, Deputy Chairperson of the PCC.
Serving as leader of the South African Government delegation at COP27 in Egypt, H.E. President Ramaphosa is expected to deliver a national statement and engage in roundtable discussions on South Africa’s transition.