Job creation a priority: Peters

By Drum Digital
31 May 2012

Job creation and development need to be priorities of South Africa's energy generation plan, the energy minister said in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Local workers needed to get better skills and not simply be "mixers of concrete", Dipuo Peters said at a business breakfast meeting hosted by the New Age.

This would help create a more equitable society.

Small business also had a role to play in the petrol sector in job creation, she said. The majority of solar water heaters were imported, which was not sustainable.

For this reason, only suppliers who manufactured their goods locally could participate in a government subsidy programme, she said.

On energy security, Peters said South Africa had more than a century's worth of coal stock. This, in conjunction with nuclear, gas and renewable energy sources, meant the country had a comfortable outlook, but the need for energy efficiency and conservation remained.

She appealed to consumers to switch off appliances, and use public transport, or choose fuel efficient vehicles.

Peters said the government was "doing everything possible" to reduce the petrol price, as it needed to be affordable for the poor.

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