Category Archives: Technology

Minister Jeff Radebe: Experience Sharing Workshop on Investment

Remarks by Hon. Jeff Radebe, Minister of Energy An Experience Sharing Workshop on Investment GE Innovation Centre, Melrose, Johannesburg

Programme Director,

Executives of General Electric South Africa,

Senior Government Officials Here Representing the Various Governments,

The Director General of Energy: Mr Thabane Zulu,

CEOs & Chairpersons Here Present,

Honoured guests,

Members of the Media,

Ladies and gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to have the opportunity to welcome and address this distinguished audience.

First and foremost, I would like to thank General Electric South Africa for hosting this knowledge sharing event and to bring their partners from across the globe to come and share their expertise and experiences with South Africa, we are grateful indeed. Your willingness to devote time to this engagement is testimony of your commitment and the great value that you attach to this workshop and the developmental agenda of South Africa.

I hope that this will be an inspiring day that will give us an opportunity to exchange valuable lessons and take aways from the successful initiatives from your respective countries. This event should also be a catalyst for further deliberations on how Government and Industry could work together towards achieving the African Dream where her children are emancipated from the clutches of energy poverty, poor health, inadequate transportation system and the inability to develop the resources that are so abundant in our midst.

Innovation in the energy sector is a key driver in achieving these objectives.

For a meaningful development to take place in Africa, learning from successful programmes and projects implementation, wherever they occur, needs to be replicated and adapted wherever possible. This would in turn be supportive to growth ambitions and stimulate investments, thus bringing about growth and prosperity.

Today, we are gathered here at the GE Innovation Centre to learn about innovative solutions that General Electric is deploying to various challenges across a number of sectors. These include Gas to Power projects, Oil Refinery projects, Hybrid Rural Electrification, Clean Coal Technologies for power generation, Localisation issues, Aviation, Healthcare facilities maintenance solutions, etc.

These are amongst the challenges that South Africa is grappling with and we are keen to learn from knowledge sharing and best practices on the above mentioned projects. Other key factors that would be of interest would be how the supply chain could be better optimised for local industrialisation and skills development to create employment opportunities.

I am acutely aware that some of the innovative work you do requires policy certainty and flexibility in some instances, so those must be pointed out during the deliberations so that there is benefit all round.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our overall economic goals are derived from the National Development Plan, which are:

1. Eliminating poverty � reducing the proportion of households with a monthly income below R419 per person in 2009 prices to zero

2. Reducing inequality � reducing the GINI coefficient from 0,69 to 0,6

3. Increasing employment � from 13 mn in 2010 to 24 mn by 2030

4. Increasing average annual GDP growth to 5.4 percent by 2030

5. Increasing investment � gross fixed capital formation should be 30% of GDP by 2030 with public sector investment reaching 10% of GDP

Consistent with this, President Cyril Ramaphosa has emphasised to the world that South Africa is on a journey to economic recovery. All spheres of government are hard at work creating an enabling environment that offers policy certainty and address areas that inhibit investment, growth and social inclusion. Government, together with social partners in business, labour and civil society is working to build a new and inclusive economy for South Africa. It is most gratifying to see everyone working together towards a common goal.

In line with this commitment, the Department of Energy published the long term electricity generation plan commonly known as the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The planning documents will provide much needed policy certainty and provide further clarity required by both local and international investors, who are keen to play in the South African energy sector.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to outline some of the challenges that our Government is faced with and are hard at work preparing solutions that will ensure investment into our economy.

Refinery capacity

The liquid fuels sector is currently dependent on imports to meet local demand as the current production capacity does not meet national and export demand. No investments have been made in new refinery capacity since the start of the new democracy. On average refineries in South Africa are more than forty years old.

Investment in the refinery capacity is now more than ever urgent. In sub-Saharan Africa, refinery capacity is constrained with most refineries unable to produce fuels that meet clean fuels 2 specifications requirements.

Clean Fuels 2

In June 2006, the South African energy policy makers promulgated Regulations regarding Petroleum Fuel Specifications and Standards that had the effect of prohibiting the addition of lead to petrol and the reduction of sulphur content in diesel from 3000 parts per million (ppm) to 500 ppm. This initiative was widely referred to as Cleaner Fuels 1 (CF1).

Since 2006, there has been a shift globally to move to even tighter fuel specifications. We thus introduced further Regulations, referred to as Clean Fuels 2 (CF 2), which sought to reduce sulphur content in both petrol and diesel from 500 ppm to 10 ppm. These regulations were to be effective as of July 2017.

In order for oil companies to comply with CF2 Regulations, there needed to be some investment in upgrades to the existing oil refinery plants. This investment has not happened.

To avoid widespread non-compliance, the CF2 Regulations were repealed by the Amendment CF2 Regulations promulgated on 23 June 2017. The latter Regulations state that the commencement date is to be determined by the Minister by notice in the Gazette.

Our challenge in implementing CF2 Regulations is around cost recovery mechanism for oil companies, as they invest in refinery upgrades in the context of a regulated market. We would be keen to learn from stakeholders in this forum how they resolved some these issues.

Gas Market Development

Gas represents a very important and growing part of the global energy system. It is the fasted growing fossil fuel and its consumption is forecasted to increase by 1.4% annually. South Africa is keen on developing its gas market (supply and demand) as a strategically important component of its energy mix.

In the current Integrated Resource Plan (our electricity master plan, which is currently released for public comment), there is a provision for Gas-to-Power as part of the electricity generation mix. The immediate questions are therefore; where will this gas be sourced from? will this gas come at a price acceptable to South African market?, will the tariff be hedged against international currency fluctuations?, if so, what will be the impact on electricity tariffs? These are the questions we are working hard to provide answers to. We hope that forums such as this will enhance our work in that regard.

It is important to note that the NDP identifies natural gas as a viable alternative to coal. The NDP further provides, as one of the infrastructure priorities, the construction of infrastructure to importing natural gas and increasing exploration to find domestic gas feedstock.

In support of this vision (as espoused in the NDP) for the South Africa gas programme, the Department has started gathering information on the potential of Gas-to-Power procurement programme. This programme, together with a detailed analysis of gas end-use market, will serve as an anchor for gas market and infrastructure development in South Africa.

Our challenge is how then do we develop a gas industry industry in an orderly manner, given our current reliance on electricity for mining, industrial, commercial and residential use.

The proven gas reserves in the African continent alone are enough to more than cater for the continent’s energy needs. In this country government has put in place an enabling framework for private sector participation in our energy sector, to enable gas industry development and growth.

We have taken note of the global industry shifts and are encouraged that many countries in our continent have set themselves the vision to enter the global gas market and promote the development of a domestic and regional gas market.

Natural gas can improve the efficiencies of many industries currently using sub-optimal fuel sources in their production processes. These improved efficiencies will result in a turnaround in the industrial capacity and demand in the region.

SADC has recently initiated the development of a Regional Gas Masterplan to facilitate gas trade within SADC. At the last SADC Summit in Namibia, the establishment of the Inter-State natural Gas Committee was endorsed. SADC Ministers also signed a Statement of Intent for cooperation on the development of a Regional Gas Market and Infrastructure. This collaboration will require support of financial institutions of the region, continent and beyond. We look forward to the support from the African Development Bank as we pursue this objective.

In conclusion, I would like to thank our presenters for opening up about their country’s experiences in order to help us overcome the challenges that we are faced with and transform our economy, for the betterment of our continental aspirations.

Let me take this opportunity to encourage all of us to seek innovative ideas and draw from our strengths and knowledge in resolving our challenges.

I thank you

Source: Government of South Africa

Minister Michael Masutha attends and addresses the Angolan government’s special repatriation ceremony, 13 Sept

South Africa and Angola collaborate in Repatriation Process

At the request of President Cyril Ramaphosa, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha will today, Thursday, 13 September 2018, attend and address the Angolan government’s special repatriation ceremony of the remains of its late General Arlindo Chenda Pena Ben Ben. General Pena is a former Deputy Chief of Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces who passed away in South Africa in October 1998.

The ceremony will be held at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria as part of South Africa’s assistance to the Republic of Angola in the repatriation process which will contribute to reconciliation among the Angolan nation.

In support of President JoAPound o Lourenco’s drive to give recognition to Angolans who fought in the anti-colonial struggle for liberation, President Ramaphosa has agreed to assist and support efforts by the Angolan government to greater peace, reconciliation and unity.

The Angolan government delegation to the Air Force Base Waterkloof ceremony will be led by Minister of Justice and Human Rights Rui Mangueira and will include several Generals of the Angolan armed forces.

Source: Government of South Africa

City to improve maintenance at rental units with specialised vehicles

The City recently acquired a number of specialised vehicles and equipment to repair and maintain city assets. The newly established mobile maintenance teams will have access to fully equipped vehicles to do repairs on the go. This will also increase reaction time when responding to service requests.

The Mayoral Committee Member for Assets and Facilities Management, Councillor Stuart Diamond, last week, 5 September 2018, unveiled the specialised vehicles and equipment at the Ndabeni maintenance depot. These vehicles, some of which are already in operation, will fast-track repairs and improve service delivery.

The vehicles are equipped with specialised tools to do repairs on the go and will allow maintenance teams to respond quickly to deal with water leaks, electrical faults and pipe bursts among other maintenance requests at the City’s rental stock.

According to Councillor Diamond, it is envisaged that each of the four area-based service delivery areas will have a dedicated mobile maintenance team. These maintenance teams will act as a first responder to maintenance emergencies and will deliver services, similar to the services offered by a depot, to communities at an accelerated pace. This is in line with the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan which aims for excellence in customer service. The dedicated teams will also engage with customers to determine how well the City responds to service faults or complaints.

Multi-skilled teams will operate from the vehicles to do repairs and maintenance onsite. The six-seater mobile maintenance vehicles will be stocked with frequently utilised maintenance materials, tools and equipment in order to do the work once the rental unit has been inspected.

Team members includes a driver, four construction and electrical artisans supported by maintenance assistants and administrative staff.

The deployment schedule of the maintenance mobile teams will be based on the historical needs assessment in the four service delivery areas.

In addition to the above, the department has also purchased four aerial work platforms (cherry pickers) which will be used to maintain the installation and repairs to area lightning as well as other specialised maintenance requests such as assessing roofs and gutters at rental units.

The intention is to deploy a cherry picker for each area to allow for rapid response to maintenance requests. The City’s maintenance depots will have access to the vehicles and equipment.

‘The addition of these specialised mobile maintenance teams is a step in the right direction that will increase mobility and customer-centric service delivery. The effectiveness of the maintenance teams will be monitored to ensure that we continuously improve on our services to residents.

‘We ask tenants to alert us to elements that may pose a safety risk. We call upon residents to work with us by being our eyes on the ground and to log a service request should an element need attention,’ added Councillor Diamond.

Source: City of Cape Town

Allocation of spectrum to benefit consumers

Government has finalised consultations with the telecommunications industry and other stakeholders to ensure allocation of spectrum reduces costs to consumers, promotes competition and eases barriers to entry.

Government has recently decided to accelerate the licensing of the radio frequency spectrum in the 2.6Ghz, 700Mhz and 800Mhz bands to hasten the growth of mobile communications, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.

Addressing the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World Conference 2018 at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban, the President said the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is now preparing to license available high demand spectrum.

In addition, South Africa has begun work in preparation for 5G spectrum licensing as part of its efforts to build a smarter digital economy.

The ITU Telecom World conference is being hosted for the first time on the continent in order to increase the participation of other African countries, thereby increasing the possibilities of investment in information and communication technology (ICT) on the continent.

The President said the digital revolution must respond to the needs of the developing world.

It must assist in overcoming unemployment, not exacerbate it. It must bridge the digital divide, not widen it.

As our economies become increasingly dependent on information and communication technology, it is critical that governments work more closely with industry to maximise the value of digital innovations he said.

The President said leaders had a task to ensure that the 4th Industrial Revolution improves the human condition and that no one is left behind.

We firmly believe that there is a strong correlation between innovation and growth. South Africa recently embarked on an investment drive to attract $100 billion in new investment in the country over the next five years, he said.

President Ramaphosa said the investment drive is part of a broader effort to set the economy on a new path of growth, employment and transformation.

We are determined that the ICT sector be an integral part of this investment drive, with a focus on infrastructure investment, e-commerce, local manufacturing of equipment, and innovation.

The President said it is important for Africa and developing countries to share manufacturing and localisation opportunities to allow equal access and shared growth throughout the world.

We continue to champion the internet as a tool for social and economic development. We support universal broadband and universal broadcasting to connect all citizens and ensure that they have access to information, he said.

Connectivity not a one-party effort

MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter said great efforts are needed to bridge the digital divide and foster digital inclusion in the world.

We cannot tackle the challenges of bridging the digital divide without addressing barriers around coverage, affordability of handsets and services, as well as the education of our users.

This endeavour is too complex to be addressed solely by governments or operators or civil society. This needs to be a shared goal. We must all work together for connectivity, Shuter said.

The Telecom World Conference is expected to attract 7 000 delegates, including senior members of government, leaders of multilateral organisations, regulators and entrepreneurs.

Discussions and showcases will feature the latest developments in technology such as preparations for 5G networks, impact and ownership of artificial intelligence and the risks of a smarter world. It will also afford small businesses an opportunity to partner with other entrepreneurs and to seek potential investors.

Source: South African Government News Agency

the dti to Observe International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Day in Kuruman, Northern Cape

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will observe the International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Day (FADS) with the aim of intensifying awareness of and educating young people and women of child bearing age in particular about the harmful effects of alcohol abuse during pregnancy. The event will take place in Kuruman, Northern Cape on 8 September 2018, under the theme No Amount of Alcohol is Safe During Pregnancy.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are a group of conditions that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. The most severe form of the condition is known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Problems may include an abnormal appearance, short height, low body weight, small head size, poor coordination, low intelligence, behavioural problems, and problems with hearing and sight.

According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, South Africa is a developing country where alcohol consumption is associated with party spirit. He said according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the annual liquor consumption by South Africa amounts to 7.81 litres of pure alcohol per person and the rate of consumption ranks South Africa 52nd on a list of 191 countries.

According to FARR (Foundation for Alcohol Related Research), in South Africa approximately 78% of pregnancies are unplanned. As a result of this, women often do not realise that they are pregnant and therefore continue to use alcohol, especially during the first trimester (3 months of pregnancy). This is a very vulnerable time for the fetus as most of the organs develop during this period. Due to a variety of reasons, such as unplanned pregnancies, limited resources, attitudinal challenges and lack of knowledge, women often visit antenatal services very late during their pregnancies and therefore further delay the possibility of getting information about FASD and the necessary support.

The South African government is concerned that South Africa is estimated to have alcohol consumption at a score of 4 which is riskier in a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being least risky and 5 being riskiest. It is against this backdrop, that we deem it significant to intensify education and awareness around alcohol and liquor abuse and drinking while pregnant. Partnerships between government and communities are vital to decrease alcohol intake in South Africa, says Davies.

The International FADS Day is commemorated annually on 9 September across the globe to enhance awareness of the dangers of consuming alcohol while pregnant. The event is part of the dti’s Sobriety Campaign whose purpose is to raise awareness on the high-risk behavioural activities related to alcohol abuse such as violence, risky sexual activities, and the spread of HIV/AIDS, and encourage behavioural change by offering alternatives in the form of government services aimed at empowering communities, including women and children.

Source: Department of Trade and Industry