Daily Archives: March 20, 2016

President Zuma to co-chair the United Nations High-level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth

President Jacob Zuma will be traveling to the city of Lyon in France to co-chair the official launch of the United Nations High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth (HLC HEEG) on 23 March 2016.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, recently established the HLC HEEG following the adoption of United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/183, and invited President Zuma and President Hollande of France to co-chair the Commission. This is not the first time that President Zuma has been appointed by the world body to undertake work on the global stage.

Other members of this Commission are the Heads of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and 20 high-level personalities from across the world, who will be supported by a team of experts working in the fields of economics, education, health, human resources and labour.

The Commission’s main objective is to propose measures that will contribute to global inclusive economic growth, the creation of decent jobs, the achievement of Universal Health Coverage and also complement various global development efforts set out by the international community.

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development forms the basis of the Commission’s work. It also speaks to the implementation of the 2063 Agenda of the African Union and South Africa’s own National Development Plan (NDP).

In brief, the Commission will seek to:

– Recommend multi-sector responses and institutional reforms to develop, over the next 15 years, health human resources capacity for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). These actions will enable inclusive economic growth by creating a sustainable local source of employment;

– Determine sources of financing and the conditions needed to maximize socio-economic returns from investments in health and social sector employment;

– Analyse the risks of global and regional imbalances and unequal distribution of health workers and assess the potential beneficial and adverse effects of international mobility; and

– Generate the political commitment from government and key partners necessary to support the implementation of the Commission’s proposed actions.

President Zuma will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and the Director-General of the National Department of Health, Ms Precious Matsoso. Ms Matsoso, who is the current Chairperson of the World Health Organisation’s Executive Board, has been appointed as the President’s Sherpa for this process.

A second meeting of the High-level Commission is envisaged to take place in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2016, where-after the Commission is expected to submit its report to the UN Secretary-General.

A summary of the meeting will be made available to the public through the Commission’s website http://www.who.int/hrh/com-heeg/en/.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

Commercial operation of Solar De Aar an achievement for SA

Pretoria – Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson this week launched the Solar Capital De Aar 3 in the Northern Cape – the 17th solar photovoltaic plant in the province.

“The inauguration of Solar Capital De Aar 3 marks the commercial operation of the 17th solar photovoltaic plant in the Northern Cape province, which has become the country’s mecca for the development of renewable energy sources,” she said, speaking at launch of the plant in De Aar.

The Minister said the commercial operation of the 75MW plant is a huge achievement in scaling up the deployment of renewable energy and in curbing the effects of climate change in South Africa.

“It is exciting to see how changes to the energy system through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPPP) are increasingly accompanied by deep shifts in our socio-economic landscape and touching the lives of communities in very different ways,” she said.

Given that the project is located in the area with the best solar resource potential in the country, the Minister anticipates that it will annually contribute 164GWh to the grid.

“This is enough power to supply approximately 49 525 average South African households with electricity each year. This means that if the energy from the Solar Capital De Aar 3 PV project was available directly to the Pixley ka Seme District Municipality only, it would have powered nearly all of its households,” she explained.

Since the implementation of the REIPPP Programme in South Africa, the province has attracted the lion’s share of IPP projects to date.

In December 2015, 86% of Independent Power Producers (IPPS) scheduled to be operational started with commercial operations while local content achieved in the construction of the projects was 50% of total project value.

In addition, total foreign equity and finance investment in the bid windows to date reached R35.4 billion, 66% of all investment attracted into South Africa.

“To date, a total of 6 376MW of renewable energy has been procured from 102 IPPs under the REIPPPP. The 51 projects located in the Northern Cape account for 56% of procured capacity – a total of 3 581MW,” explained the Minister.

Minister Joemat-Pettersson said the Northern Cape offers some of the best conditions in the world for solar electricity generation. Therefore it is not surprising that the province hosts 100% of the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and 65% of the solar PV capacity procured in bid windows to date in the REIPPPP in South Africa, contributing 72.5% or 2 112MW of the total 2 992MW solar power in the country.

This includes three solar power projects with a procured capacity of 15MW from ‘small’ REIPPPP projects, ranging between 1MW and 5MW.

Through the REIPPPP, the Department of Energy is targeting the procurement of 13 225MWs from REIPPs by 2025.

To this end, an expedited bid window was introduced; open to all bids that were not successful during previous rounds as well as other ready projects. A total 106 submissions for the expedited bid window were received on 11 November 2015 totalling 9 500MW, of which 6 500MW was interest from IPPs located in the Northern Cape.

Solar Park

As part of the Department of Energy’s energy policy initiatives and in an effort to progress the uptake of renewable energy, a ministerial determination has been granted for the procurement of 1 500MW through a solar park to be developed in the Northern Cape.

This is due to the fact that the province has the highest concentration of solar projects, vast interest for further investment, and sufficiently high solar radiation intensity to support such investment.

The planned solar park will provide new impetus for the economy by reducing the cost of solar power due to economies of scale, creating an opportunity for localisation through the development of a technology manufacturing capability, and attracting private sector investors to operate IPP plants within the park.