Zille: Western Cape to be 'green' hub

2012-05-21 13:15

Stellenbosch - The Western Cape government seeks to make the region the "green economic hub" of South Africa, provincial premier Helen Zille said on Monday.

Opening the first Southern African Solar Energy Conference in Stellenbosch, she told delegates that the province aimed to draw at least a tenth of its power from renewable sources within two years.

"We intend by 2014... that at least 10% of electricity use in the province will be generated from renewable energy [sources]," Zille said.

"Solar energy will be central to the achievement of this aim."

The plentiful sunshine in the provinces meant "we will see many solar energy power plants built in the Western Cape and an attendant manufacturing industry with upstream and downstream linkages".


Zille said by 2020 the energy system of the Western Cape would be highly efficient and [its] fossil fuel energy use greatly reduced.

She stressed the importance of partnerships with the private and academic sectors to achieve this. Migration into the region meant energy demand would rise sharply.

"The pace of urban migration... means that it’s going to be impossible and completely unsustainable to continue policies of building everybody a new house," Zille said.

"We're going to have to take informal settlements, where they are, and upgrade people's shacks and put in the services... and ensure that people are going to be able to use the energy they require."

The cost of renewable energy schemes remained a challenge. However, over time, economies of scale would see the use of such energy move from marginal to mainstream use.

Zille said there were plans to turn the West Coast industrial town of Atlantis into "the heart of green economy manufacturing" in the province.

This would contribute greatly toward the creation of jobs and move the region closer to a carbon-free economy.

The development of a feed-in tariff system was crucial for the establishment of renewable energy schemes.

Zille called for a specific commitment from government for a feed-in tariff system to encourage small-scale solar power generation.

The three-day solar energy conference has attracted experts from the academic and business sectors.

It ends on Wednesday.

  • Michael - 2012-05-21 15:19

    A premier thinking of the future...what is this,its not in the constitution Helen!!!Youre supposed to steal whatever you can find...wait I retract that,youre white and can't blame apartheid...damn..sorry

      Tony Lapson - 2012-05-21 16:32

      Why do you have to go and do that? Now this article and comments will become about politics and race.

  • tmmotsa - 2012-05-21 17:16

    Now we focusing our enegies on the green hub?\r\nwhat about the constitutional right \everyone has a right to shelter\\r\nmzantsi never ends to amaze us.

      michael.a.devilliers - 2012-05-21 19:23

      Read the article: "We're going to have to take informal settlements, where they are, and upgrade people's shacks and put in the services... and ensure that people are going to be able to use the energy they require."

      RangoAndEmy - 2012-05-21 19:40

      Im sorry Tmmosta but we do not have enough money to build everybody a house and still have services running for those houses etc.. this is a fact of life around the world we are trying to make do the best we can with what we have and using technology to enhance future possibilities for the people of the Western Cape, there are too many mouths to feed and people to clothe and shelter and there arent enough of us tax payers to pay for everyone. And the ANC is stealing the money that we pay in every month instead of putting it back into our society. Just think the billions that have been stolen every year since Mbeki's government, how much could they have done for our people.

      RangoAndEmy - 2012-05-21 19:47

      you will see in the future Tmmotsa that we will still be here to help our fellow black south africans even when the ANC has run our country into the ground and our people are starving in a large scale, much more than are suffering now. Us non-blacks will still be here to help you, just as the non-blacks send food through UNICEF and Red Cross to other African countries.. this is a fact of life and you can see it all around you, nothing will change things will get worse in our country if we dont change our current government, for a government that is looking out for all South Africans best interests.

      Manie - 2012-05-22 08:20

      The issue is that most black africans do not plan for the future. Our government is running the country bare and do not care if we end up like Zim because they will be 'rich' however, funny enough, the rand will mean nothing by then and they will be fighting each other for aid handouts like every other starving sod. some groups of intelligent people will have gated and defended communities where things actually work. Resource based economies where you work for your food and shelter or get kicked out to fend for yourself.

  • flyswat - 2012-05-21 22:14

    It's all just show. Behind the smokescreen, windfarm applications have been denied left, right and centre. The reason? Environmental impact assessments that I must add were never actually carried out. They complained about something to do with "pristine fynbos", which (having been there myself) looks pretty much like a plantation of port jackson and blackwattle weeds... go figure...

  • jody.beggs - 2012-05-22 10:46

    Zilla for President. Damn the man.

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