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Radebe says IPPs will create over 100K job over 20 years

The Independent Power Producers have come under heavy criticism from unions who say they will lead to job losses in the mining sector.

FILE: Energy Minister Jeff Radebe. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says South Africa’s renewable energy programme will create over 100,000 full-time employment opportunities over 20 years.

Radebe says only the Renewable Energy Power Producer Procurement Programme has commenced with construction and operation of Independent Power Producers (IPPs), so far.

Radebe was responding to a parliamentary question from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on the number of jobs that will be created at each Independent Power Producer company which has had its bid approved by his department.

IPPs have come under heavy criticism from unions who say they will lead to job losses in the mining sector.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA went as far as taking Radebe to court, claiming the implementation of the IPP contracts, valued at R56 billion, will lead to more than 40,000 job losses in coal mines and other secondary industries.

But this won’t be the case, according to Radebe, saying it is envisaged that the 112 projects will create 114,266 “job years” over the construction period and the 20-year operations period.

A “job year” is equivalent to a full-time employment opportunity for one person for one year.

The Northern Cape will have the highest number of projects at 59 followed by the Eastern Cape with 17 projects.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)