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Monday, October 8, 2012

Germany, SA co-operate for RE development

Co-operation between Germany and South Africa has the potential to accelerate development and benefit both countries, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said in Johannesburg on Friday.

"In this regard, we appreciate Germany's continued support for the South African renewable energy sector and we look forward to long term co-operation within the South African Renewable Initiatives programme," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the 60th anniversary of the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The countries were working together to establish a renewable energy incubator, which aimed to develop small, medium and micro enterprises.

"The project will establish a solar water heating demonstration centre, which will provide training to entrepreneurs.

"This manufacturing facility will prepare enterprises for manufacturing, assembling and installing solar water heating equipment," he said.

South Africa and Germany were co-operating in the spheres of labour, social affairs, economy, culture, science and renewable energies.

There were around 700 German-owned companies or subsidiaries in South Africa, and Germany was the fourth biggest export destination for South African goods.

"We will continue expanding bilateral ties in areas such as energy, skills, resource development and government to government level co-operation."

Motlanthe said South African infrastructure development was not happening quickly enough.

The Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission had been appointed to develop a 20-year infrastructure upgrade programme to deal with the backlog.

The projects included rail, roads, ports, dams, irrigation and sanitation systems, new energy generation plants, communication, and hospitals, schools and universities, Motlanthe said.

"In addition, South Africa has taken bold and decisive action to create energy security through diversifying its energy sources, accelerating access to energy and building a competitive 21st century clean energy economy."

Motlanthe thanked Germany for its long standing relationship with South Africa and said he was confident that it would continue for at least another 60 years.

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