As mentioned in his State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of working towards inclusive, sustainable development that is resilient in the face of climate change.
South Africa now has the opportunity to be at the forefront of green growth and low-carbon industrialisation by pioneering new technologies and taking quantum leaps towards the economy of the future.
Ben Pullen, CEO at Generation.e welcomes this sentiment and agrees that in order to do this, safe, reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity is needed.
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The goal to deliver low cost electricity options is vital and can enhance the efforts to deliver well connected electric railway efforts.
In addition, as the country continues to introduce renewable and affordable electricity generation, the value of electric vehicles for South Africa will increase. This is not only essential for sustainability, but will also assist in cutting the costs South Africa spends on importing oil - which is currently costing the country approximately $13bn per annum.
According to GreenCape if only 1 million electric vehicles are sold in the country, which is around 2-3 years-worth of South Africa’s new vehicle sales, it would reduce oil import costs by around R8bn.
This could then be redistributed into building sustainable and healthy renewable energy resources, which would create jobs and keep the money in South African borders. It could also be invested into new or improved rail and bus transport, for example.
The transport sector is a huge culprit when it comes to polluting the atmosphere and subsequently our cities, it is now more important than ever for South Africa to actively transition towards smarter mobility.”
"This can be done by building on the development of public transport solutions such as the Gautrain and by introducing new innovations in vehicle use, such as promoting the use of hybrid or electric vehicles,” he says.
“Ultimately the goal would be to work towards creating an environment where vehicles are not needed and instead bikes or scooters can be used, or the vehicles that are used are either electric, hybrid or reduced through car-pooling and ride hailing services.”
“To do this, a shift from asset ownership to mobility as a service needs to take place, where the focus is more on mobility getting people from A to B instead of them needing to own a car. As such, a lot more effort needs to go into providing a range of safe, cost effective and sustainable mobility solutions,” he concludes.