Diverse stakeholders who attended a dialogue on A Just Energy Transition in South Africa. Photo: Catholic Welfare and Development Media

CAPE TOWN - Ownership within the energy sector remains the debatable issue as the sector stakeholders strive for 'A Just Energy Transition' in South Africa. 

The Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office together with Project 90 by 2030 recently gathered various stakeholders on a round-table discussion to lay bare issues around ownership and resources of Energy in SA.

Stakeholders present at the engagement unanimously agreed that transformation is needed in the energy sector, and it has to come along with economic development, employment opportunities, educating people on sector development trends and must be inclusive of the previously disadvantaged communities.

CEO for South African Wind Energy Association, Brenda Martin said their member companies have been playing a massive role in making sure that South Africa is moving towards renewable energy utilisation. "There are businesses who are working with communities surrounding them, making sure that they educate and equip them in terms of energy technology, that's on of their obligations," she said.

Among the panelists in the dialogue, Congress of South African Trade Unions was represented by the Social Development Policy Coordinator, Lebogang Mulaisi who said the federation will always be open to discussion like these and invited the energy industry to always inform them on matters pertaining to labour. She also cleared the air on the issue that COSATU only cares about its subscribing members. "It is untrue that COSATU only cares about it's members, the federation is generally fighting for fairness generally across the workforce spectrum" Lebogang said. 

Researcher for Project 90 by 2030, Richard Halsey said, "The main transition is expected to be away from fossil fuels towards renewables. The fossil fuel industry are mostly resisting the change, or at least for as long as possible, as this is their revenue stream. The broader question then comes in about how to make the transition a just and fair one".

Halsey added "There is a debate as to how the structure of the Independent Power Producers can change to give the most benefit to local workers and communities".