The government wants to use the renewable energy independent power producers' programme to boost job creation, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Monday.
“With significant numbers of the population currently unemployed, the government sees this procurement programme as an opportunity to grow the economy,” she told reporters in Pretoria.
“We would want to maximise economic development wherever the projects are located.”
Peters was speaking after the announcement of 19 successful bidders for “Window 2” of the government's energy plan. She said the government would seek to ensure that community development and benefit would be compulsory wherever projects were located.
Peters said though the allocation of the projects across the country was driven by the availability of natural resources (wind, solar and water) residents of the affected areas should expect maximum economic benefit.
“More communities will benefit through employment or as shareholders in these projects.
“Most of the bidders for Window 2 will be establishing community trusts with the sole purpose of developing the surrounding communities.”
The department received 79 bids in March for the second window, 51 of which met the criteria given in the request for proposals. - Sapa