Johannesburg - Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa says there are no conditions attached to China's electricity equipment donations to South Africa.
Yesterday, on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre, the minister confirmed that he had signed a raft of agreements with China in a bid to overcome South Africa’s energy crisis, which has seen the country undergo unprecedented levels of load shedding in recent months.
Ramokgopa said the Joint Memorandum of Co-operation with China would be beneficial to the people of South Africa, adding that it was signed with eight Chinese leaders in the energy sector.
He said China was the ideal partner, as it had moved quickly to improve its power transmission grid network and generation capacity, and that its renewable energy plants were some of the biggest and best in the world and were set up in a short time.
This week, ahead of the 15th BRICS Summit, President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated that China had donated equipment valued at R167 million as well as R500m in development assistance that would help alleviate the country’s energy crisis.
Speaking to members of the media on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit yesterday, Ramokgopa said there were no conditions attached to the donation.
He said the donation included generators, power supply vehicles, PVA energy storage and emergency energy support systems.
The minister said there was a lot that South Africa could learn from its BRICS partner, China, and how it had improved its energy generation and supply.
“The equipment that is on its way to South Africa can provide clinics, especially in the far-flung rural areas, hospitals and correctional services. From the electricity point of view, we are already seeing the fruits; yesterday we signed two agreements, and today we signed eight agreements. I did say that from an emergency point of view, for energy solutions, we are getting those units. The South African public is going to benefit. We are resolving the financing and technology elements.”
Ramokgopa said some of the agreements had been in the pipeline before the BRICS Summit.
“These conversations were happening before the summit. The biggest benefit is for us to ultimately end load shedding,” he said.