Premier Zille Announces Key Investment Achievements in Provincial Green Economy
11 June 2014
Media Statement by Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille
Just over two years ago, I announced our government’s intention of becoming the green economic hub of South Africa. Our aim was to build a dynamic green economy, which offsets the costs and consequences of climate change with economic growth and job creation.
Since then we have concentrated on putting in place the building blocks needed for the growth of a green economy by prioritising this sector in our MTEC budget framework and also launching our Green Economy Strategic Framework last July.
Today I am pleased to announce that the Western Cape has already attracted significant investments as a result of these interventions, creating sustainable job opportunities.
In 2013, our investment mapping found that an estimated R20bn has been allocated to actual and planned investment in the Western Cape renewable energy sector.
Since then there has been further foreign direct investment. Most notable is the R220m investment in the manufacture of wind turbine towers – as part of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP)– by Spanish company, Gestamp, located in the Atlantis Green Manufacturing Hub. This will create 200 permanent jobs in the area. Chinese based Jinko Solar has also just made the decision to set up a solar panels plant in Cape Town.
Our Green Economy Strategy Framework identified a number of priority areas, with key drivers being natural gas as a new and important source of power in the province, facilitation of market opportunities and access to finance, innovation and ensuring the green economy really does work for our poorer communities.
- We have established transversal department teams and GreenCape, as a special purpose vehicle focused on investment and the business interface. In addition, I, as Premier, lead the 110% Green programme that is designed to raise awareness and participation in green economic activity.
Some of the other achievements since the launch of the Framework include:
- The proposed establishment of a cleantech Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Atlantis, which is being managed by GreenCape. The SEZ has strong support from national and provincial government, as well as the City of Cape Town.
- Of the 64 projects under the REIPPPP 60% were developed by Western Cape based developers. The launch of the Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP), in which business has shown an active interest. WISP connects companies to identify and realise the business opportunities enabled by using unused or residual resources. In the short space of six months, new business opportunities have been created, with carbon savings, investment and jobs being realised (an example of a WISP project is the City of Cape Town (sports and recreation) using old fishing nets from Oceana to refurbish school sports nets (soccer, cricket, netball).
- A Green finance support facility is also being established within GreenCape to improve business access to finance and to support special public sector related projects that require new or innovative financial partnerships and structuring.
- Under 110% Green, we have over 120 flagship projects, which organisations have committed to rolling out over the next year. Many of these projects are focused on making the green economy work for the poor (visit http://www.westerncape.gov.za/110green/flagships for a full list of these flagships).
The Western Cape Government is also sponsoring the Better Living Challenge, together with private sector support, which aims to gather and showcase the best home improvement solutions that support a better quality of life for poorer communities. We have had an overwhelming response from designers, innovators and businesses to the Challenge.
There will be a show village in Philippi in October that will showcase the top entries and will enable consumers to interact with what is on offer. The awards and support to innovators is geared towards the commercialisation of the best solutions.
Under the leadership of Minister Winde, we will continue to enable more investment into our Green Economy by both local and international stakeholders.
We are also co-operating with municipalities, particularly in the areas of waste and energy, such as smart grids. We look forward to co-operation with National Government as it gears up its infrastructure investment programme – resilient infrastructure is key to future growth and job creation.