Solar - local is lekker minister says

2012-05-17 20:31

Parliament - Only solar water heater suppliers who "localise" their products will be able to participate in government's installation programme, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Thursday.

Opening debate in Parliament on her department's 2012 budget, she said that while there had been good progress with the solar water heater programme, most of the systems installed - particularly the low-pressure type - were imported.

"This is clearly unsustainable, and the time has arrived for us to intervene if we are to create local job opportunities.

"I have therefore decided that from this year, the solar water heater programme will work on a different model.

"Only those suppliers who commit to localise their products will be able to participate in the government budget subsidy programme," she said.

  • PumaFred - 2012-05-17 21:56

    totally agree and should only be using SA materials not chinese imports

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-18 07:01

      It seems the correct thing to do, but are we able to access all the correct materials. Will the price - which is already very expensive - go up once produced locally. I wonder, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see before we judge - but I have serious doubts. Also, the Chinese jump in when they see an opportunity, we dilly dally for years before doing anything.

      wesleywt - 2012-05-18 07:18

      A company I know tried to produce cheap solar panels, but was crushed by government regulations. Because a very influential family from Franschhoek produce expensive solar panels, but have serious connections. There is a reason why everything is so expensive in this country.

      Nigel - 2012-05-18 08:24

      what is likely to happen is that the local system will be 3 times the cost, so to qualify for the full subsidy, we will be the ones to cough, this will make the systems too expensive & hardly anybody will install them. the end result will be that in the ANC's desperation to look like its creating jobs it will kill the industry all together & all the newly employed people will be retrenched within a couple of years, but the ANC can't think past their next election.

  • Steve - 2012-05-17 22:03

    This is a sad day for Solar energy in SA. What it means is that local suppliers(ie those who have a hand in the till at govt. level) will benefit massively at the expense of the consumer. And the quality will be far inferior to what we currently can import from China, at triple the cost.

      Aj - 2012-05-18 11:27

      The benefits of local procurement and manufacture far outweigh the price of local manufacturing. China is subsidising their development and export of products to the world to gain a monopoly. South Africa's solar irradiation gives us a chance to implement solar energy on a large scale and should give us the opportunity to become a market leader and exporter of technology, instead of a dumping site for chinese products.

      jody.beggs - 2012-05-18 13:37

      Steve has a point , look at all the other Government implementations of anything? Poor quality and riddled with corruption.. E tolling anyone? Damn the man.

  • Bruce - 2012-05-17 22:09

    Yes support local industry. But will it work and will the supply be reliable? They can't even supply text books for schools, how will they manage that. If it develops a problem, will there be trained people who can fix it? And how soon?

  • rowan.maulson - 2012-05-17 22:23

    If they can make local at the same price and quality as they can import, then its all good.... If they can't (which I'm sure is the case) then they're just being bloody stupid.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-18 06:52

      I doubt we can compete with the Chinese when it comes to price. A low pressure system is already about R4000 uninstalled, and is not exactly comparable to a high pressure system at R15000. Our labour is too expensive to compete with the East.

  • Nigel - 2012-05-18 08:19

    well it took 4 years to realise this, finally the ANC minister wakes up, but the problem is how much more expensive will the local systems be with Cosatus members being unproductive & overpaid, hey I know, why not let the unemployed youth do the work, that way we can be productive, competitive & create jobs.

  • William - 2012-05-18 08:23

    Agree!!!! Few people are doing this at present as it is prohibitively expensive to install. Would love to do solar at my pad, but due to the cost the savings you would generate will only be tangible a long time after installation.

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