South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP), which feeds power utility Eskom’s grid, is making a significant impact in South Africa.
The impact is made on the economy, job creation, community upliftment, economic transformation and climate change, a cabinet minister has said.
According to Energy Minister Jeff Radebe in Pretoria on Sunday, REIPPs have created 38,701 jobs years for youth and women from the surrounding communities, apart from attracting US$15 billion into the country’s economy in committed private sector investment, resulting in much-needed alleviation of fiscal pressure.
“This means 38,701 people have had a full-time job for one year,” Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said at a media briefing in Pretoria on Sunday, 24 February 2019.
The minister said local communities have benefited from over US$71.4 million spent by IPPs on education by upskilling teachers, providing extra teachers and classrooms, as well as awarding over 600 bursaries to students from disadvantaged communities.
In the health sector, the programme has provided health facilities while contributing to social development through feeding schemes, supporting old age homes and early childhood development.
Furthermore, it has helped to establish more than 1,000 small enterprises in the country, he said.
The REIPPP is a competitive tender process that has been designed to facilitate private sector investment into grid-connected renewable energy generation.
On the criticism the eight-year programme has attracted from the opposition, the minister said: “I acknowledge the programme is not perfect and can be improved in specific areas. However, we need to embrace that the programme has done so much for the country and has received international acknowledgement.”