Statement by Minister Davies (South Africa)

Honorable Ministers, High Commissioners, representatives of of partner institutions. ladies and gentlemen.

It is an enormous pleasure to be here tonight to commemorate the signing of a Declaration of Intention, which will launch SARi as a partnership between South Africa and a number of countries represented here tonight.

This is the culmination of a series of engagements that we have over the past few months had in a number of different countries where we have put the proposition of SARi to you and where we have found very enthusiastic support for this initiative. It think this is a potentially path breaking initiative.

I think the broad outline of the SARi are well known to many people and were alluded to Minister Peters a moment ago the Integrated Resource Plan anticipates that we will have around 18 GW of renewable energy by 2030, which will constitute 42% of new capacity developed by that particular time. This is a sizable and ambitious target.

All of us here in Durban at this moment must be aware that it is very essential the future of the world that we reduce our carbon emissions. And that this is a contribution towards that.

From the point of view of my Department – Trade and Industry – this can become a huge obligation or it can become a source of opportunity and of growth and development. We have taken the strategic decision that we will make this a source of opportunity and development for our country. So the scale of renewables is enough to support and sustain a renewables industry here in South Africa, again working in partnership with industries and drawing on technologies developed across the world. That is our ambition.

There does appear to be a consensus that the world is on the cusp of a new wave of industrialisation– a new industrial revolution if you like. And that new wave will be based on green energy and green technologies. The last wave of industrial development was the ICT revolution.  Unfortunately Africa and South Africa largely related to that as consumers and service providers of products and technologies produced elsewhere. This time we are determined that we will also have our share of manufacturing, associated servicing and the jobs which go with that. That is out intention.

So we have an ambitious programme that we think can support and sustain industrial development in our country.

It is for that reason that SARi is part of our Industrial Policy Action Plan. It is not just part of our energy policy, or our environmental policy response to climate change, although it is that as well. In addition to that it is part of our industrial policy.

The modeling suggests that by 2023 we could as a result of SARi generate a peak of 37,000 jobs  and between 2012-2030  create on average 20 -23 000 on an average year. That is the scale of contribution to job creation and industrialisation that this represents. In order to do that we have had to seek partnerships with the developed world, in the area of access to funding to make this a reality.

Because we have been ambitious, we have chosen to go out and establish those partnerships proactively in advance of a multilateral climate fund.  We are very pleased to have found a number of open doors in the partners that are signing with us this evening.

It is a great moment for South Africa in our endevours green the economy and to gain the benefits of industrial development and job creation that can come from the green economy. It is a great moment for international cooperation and a significant moment as a potential trailblazer for the type of partnerships that will be needed to avert the catastrophe runaway climate change.