N Cape pins hope on renewable energy

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iol news pic Sylvia Lucas Independent Newspapers Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas File picture: Oupa Mokoena

Bloemfontein - The Northern Cape aims to become the hub for renewable energy in South Africa, premier Sylvia Lucas said on Friday.

She said this would be achieved through the construction of large solar and wind power stations.

“Fast-growing renewable energy...is expected to attract massive investments,” said Lucas in her prepared state-of-the-province speech.

Lucas said the renewable energy independent producers procurement programme within the department of energy had approved 31 renewable energy projects for the province.

The projects would result in the creation of more than 6502 jobs during the construction phase and a further 8736 permanent jobs.

Lucas said the expected direct investment would be about R26.4 billion - the lion's share, 78 percent, of total investment for the current bidding phase.

Turning to education, Lucas described newly established Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley as a significant milestone for the expansion of knowledge and skills in the province.

She said the influx of students and top academics from other provinces and neighbouring countries would benefit the province.

“The Sol Plaatje University also presents enormous business and economic development opportunities.”

Lucas announced that classes at Sol Plaatje University had begun this week.

The university opened its doors on Monday to the first 141 students, who have enrolled for academic programmes in education, retail management and information technology.

Lucas ended her speech on the same theme punted by other party heavyweights this week - that the African National Congress government “have a good story to tell about our beloved province and South Africa”.


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