The European Union (EU) will invest €280 million (R5.3 billion) in South Africa’s Just and Green Recovery, it was announced at the official launch of the Team Europe Initiative in Pretoria on Friday.
The event was held on the sidelines of the ministerial-level meeting between the EU and South Africa, which brought together the EU and member states Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden.
“As Team Europe, the EU and its member states will invest more than €280 million in grants in South Africa, including €87.75 million from the EU budget, to support policy reforms on green recovery, unlock green investments and build a knowledge-based transition in the framework of the Just and Green Recovery Team Europe Initiative for South Africa launched today (Friday) in Pretoria as part of Global Gateway,” the EU delegation said in a statement.
The EU said the Just and Green Recovery Team Europe Initiative would support South Africa in achieving its national goal to tackle the country's pressing socio-economic challenges through policy dialogue, facilitating investment, including for public infrastructure and to unlock a sustainable, biodiversity friendly and circular economy and combat climate change.
It said €40m of EU grant funding would be used to facilitate investment in public infrastructure in South Africa through blended finance. The EU would also support projects to boost greening of municipal services across South Africa. EU member states would also work on the repurposing of coal power plants for the green transition, improving energy efficiency in public buildings and accelerating circular economy start-ups.
Additionally, under the Just Energy Transition Partnership, Germany, France and the EU would provide financing of more than $3bn to South Africa, the statement said.
Josep Borrell, the high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, said: “The fight against climate change is a global responsibility... Together with South Africa, we are committed to a decarbonisation pathway. The EU and its member states will continue to partner with South Africa to implement the Just Energy Transition Partnership and making this journey just, not least with the Team Europe Initiative we are launching today.”