Plan to repurpose grant money to help fund solar systems in homes … – IOL

Friday, November 17, 2023
Ramokgopa said according to projections, for every 1 000 households that installed a medium-size solar PV system, 5MW of demand was taken off the grid. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Published 23h ago
 | Published 23h ago
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Cape Town – With an estimated 800 000 jobs lost due to load shedding this year alone, discussions are under way to repurpose grant money so that households can participate in the sale of solar energy and provide much-needed energy to communities.
“This is severe, the amount of jobs that have been lost due to load shedding,” said Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.
“We are doing a lot of work, working with partners in the financial services sector to design an instrument to make it possible for the poor to access the financing that is required for them to roll out rooftop solar solutions.
“We are also looking at repurposing some of the grants so that they can be directed towards this purpose and the country and end-users can see the benefit over time.”
Ramokgopa was accounting to the portfolio committee on public enterprises on Wednesday for the first time since the National Assembly Rules Committee adopted a decision in September that the electricity portfolio would fall under the public enterprises committee for oversight.
He was not spared any criticism from committee members, who highlighted that the economy could not endure the impacts of load shedding for much longer.
This as the committee also heard that load shedding impacted the GDP by R204 million to R899m a day.
Ramokgopa said according to projections, for every 1 000 households that installed a medium-size solar PV system, 5MW of demand was taken off the grid.
He said the installation of household solar systems would address job creation and unemployment, in that residents would be allowed to sell the energy if they registered with the National Energy Regulator of SA, while jobs would be created in manufacturing and installation.
“Instead of importing, there is an opportunity for us to industrialise and create jobs,” he said.
“As we resolve the electricity crisis, you are also creating jobs and new skills – you need installers, people to maintain it.
Committee member Valentia Malinga wanted assurance from Ramokgopa that the manufacturing of the solar panels would be done locally instead of importing parts from China. Ramokgopa said he would liaise with Trade, Industry and Competition Minister, Ebrahim Patel to help local industrialists to participate in the developments.
Committee member Omphile Maotwe said Ramokgopa would be judged on the success of the projects by the time his term was due to end in May.
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Cape Argus
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