Statement R110 Bn Wind Energy To Benefit Lesotho and SA
S Njikelana

8 November 2011

Recently a SA group - Harrison and White Investments - together with China`s Mingyang Wind Power, have ventured into partnership[ with Lesotho to develop R110 Billion wind and hydro-electric energy project. It is regarded the largest renewable energy project in Africa and one of the largest in the world. Such effort also confirms the government`s commitment to diversifying energy sources away from coal to renewable.

Lesotho, as the main beneficiary, will gain a lot through establishment of wind turbine manufacturing industry and about 25 000 jobs will be created. Around 1500 engineers and technicians will be employed permanently.

Both SA and Lesotho will gain manufacturing capacity to produce wind turbine components as early as next year. It is expected 6000 MW of wind and 4000 MW of pumped-storage electricity will be produced. Given its energy hunger SA will gain a lot from this additional supply of clean energy - I emphasise.

The ANC committed in Polokwane 2007 to ensure that the ANC-led government escalates our national efforts towards the realisation of a greater contribution of renewable energy sources, including solar and wind power, as part of an ambitious renewable energy target.

Once again Polokwane committed the ANC government to engage in the struggle against poverty and underdevelopment especially in Africa guided by the NEPAD programmes. Without doubt this project bolsters NEPAD in the region.

The ANC applauds this initiative and calls upon not only South Africans but the whole of Africa and the world as a whole to support it.