File Image: Jeff Radebe. PHOTO: Matthews Baloyi/ANA PHOTO

CAPE TOWN - New Energy Minister Jeff Radebe announced that more renewable energy will enter into the national grid. 

He made the announced at Parliament on Thursday that agreements with 27 renewable energy projects will be signed with Eskom on Tuesday.

They will contribute 2,305 megawatts of electricity.

Radebe says the R56 billion investment in the economy will create more than 60,000 jobs, 95% of which will be for South Africans.

“Our people need energy; we require cleaner energy. We have our commitments in terms of the National Development Plan. Our own commitments in terms of our international obligations. Our people deserve better. And this project I believe, will assist us to reignite our economy and to get those much-needed jobs for our people", Radebe said. 

However, not many know that Radebe isn't new to the Minister title. He has been a long-serving member of Cabinet in Parliament and the country. 

Here are 10 facts about the new Energy Minister:

1. Jeff Radebe was born on the 18 February 1953 in Cato Manor and lived there until 1958 when his family was forcibly removed to KwaMashu.

2.  Jeff Radebe studied towards a law degree at the University of Zululand and finished an LLM in International Law at the Karl Marx University, Leipzig in 1981.

3. Jeff Radebe joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1976, while he was a student.

4.  In 1977, the ANC sent Jeff Radebe to Mozambique, and soon after to Tanzania where he worked as a journalist for a radio station in Dar es Salaam.

5. After an unsuccessful secret mission by the ANC, Radebe was arrested in 1986 and was convicted under the Terrorism Act of the then Apartheid government. He was sentenced to a 10-year imprisonment on Robben Island. After a successful 12-day hunger strike, Radebe was released from prison in 1990.

6. In 1990, he was also a Radio Journalist at Radio Freedom in South Africa. 

7. After the 1994 democratic elections, Radebe served as Minister of Public Works under Nelson Mandela. 

8.  Under the leadership of Thabo Mbeki, Radebe served as Minister of Public Enterprises (1999–2004) and Minister of Transport (2004–2009). 

 9. He was also South Africa’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development under Jacob Zuma's leadership. 

10.  Jeff Radebe is married to Bridgette Radebe, South Africa’s first black female mining entrepreneur and sister of the billionaire mining magnate, Patrice Motsepe. 

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE