SARi hosted a Design Workshop on the 17-18th February 2011 in Pretoria to seek advice and guidance in the development of an ambitious renewables roll out in South Africa. The two day Workshop was formally hosted by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davis, and led by Dr Edwin Ritchkin, the Special Project Advisor based at the Department of Public Enterprise and responsible to Minister Davis for this initiative.
Participants included officials from key South African government ministries, departments and agencies, representatives from international public finance institutions, together with the SARi development team.
Inputs from senior South African government officials highlighted the historic shift in thinking that is bringing together policy on climate change mitigation, resilience and economic growth in South Africa, and which is driving the increasing policy coherence and development of implementation capacity needed to underpin growth in renewables.
The discussion affirmed the potential for the basic SARi proposal to draw on a blend of domestic and international funding to achieve the development of renewables in South Africa, with the possibility of unleashing industrial and economic benefits. However it highlighted a number of critical design challenges which still need to be worked out, including determining the counterparties for loans and grants and establishing how finance, and risk burdens, can be addressed without increasing transaction costs of the necessary multiple independent due diligence processes.