Zuma witnesses DRC hydro-power deal

2011-11-12 18:01

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding on the Grand Inga Hydro-Electric Power project in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on Saturday, the presidency said.

"The [memorandum] aims at starting the development of large scale power generation in sub-Saharan Africa, with particular focus on hydro power resources," Zuma said in a speech prepared for delivery.

The agreement was signed by Energy Minister Dipuo Peters and her DRC counterpart Gilbert Tshongo.

Zuma said the project would be the biggest hydro power project and would not only benefit the people of Congo but the African continent at large.

The hydro-electric scheme could generate up to 40,000 megawatts and would be able to supply electricity to 500 million people.

Zuma said South Africa would send logistical and security support to help the DRC during its forthcoming coming elections.

"South Africa alone has contributed over 80 observers in the entire observer mission, which is led by our minister for correctional services, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, in South Africa's capacity as the current chair of the Southern African Development Community [SADC] organ Troika," he said.

They would observe the elections within the parameters of the country's constitution and SADC's guidelines on election conduct.

"As chair of the Troika I call on all parties to conduct themselves in a manner conducive to the holding of peaceful elections," he said.

Zuma extended his gratitude to President Kabila for the "hospitality and warmth" with which the South African delegation were received during their working visit to his country.

On Sunday Zuma would visit the United Arab Emirates.

- SAPA

Read more on:    sadc  |  nosiviwe mapisa-nqakula  |  jacob zuma  |  dipuo peters  |  joseph kabila  |  drc  |  central africa
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