There will be no job losses, Radebe assures after renewable energy deals

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe signed-off on the project on Wednesday. It’s expected to see 2,300 megawatts of generation capacity added to the power grid over the next five years.

FILE: Energy Minister Jeff Radebe. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Energy Minister Jeff Radebe insists there will be no job losses with government’s signing of 27 independent renewable power producers.

Radebe signed-off on the project on Wednesday. It’s expected to see 2,300 megawatts of generation capacity added to the power grid over the next five years.

Workers' unions had secured a court interdict to block the deals, saying it would be detrimental for the working class.

But Radebe says this deal will create 58,000 new jobs.

“The issue of unions on job losses in the coal industry has nothing to do with renewables. Some of those job losses are a result of the end of the lifespan of those mines. Those jobs were going to be lost.”

Meanwhile, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has welcomed the deals, saying it will lead to rural development and job creation in the country.

SAWEA’s Brenda Martin says: “In the case of round four projects, which has a majority of wind projects, the bulk of those projects are located in the Northern Cape. The benefits are directly linked into those communities, like economic development and employment creation.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)