Daily Archives: May 16, 2018

Smart Campaign Reaches Milestone with 100 Certifications in Financial ...

The certification of 100 financial service providers, collectively serving more than 42 million low-income clients worldwide, marks major achievement for financial inclusion.

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Smart Campaign, the leading industry voice on financial consumer protection, housed at the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion, announced today that 100 financial service providers (FSPs) have attained Smart Certification, a landmark achievement in responsible financial inclusion.

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion. (PRNewsFoto/Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion) (PRNewsFoto/)

The Smart Campaign works globally to create an environment in which financial services are delivered safely and responsibly to low-income clients. The Campaign launched the certification program in 2013 as a way for FSPs to align their policies and practices with industry-accepted Client Protection Principles, which articulate standards for product design and delivery, prevention of over-indebtedness, transparency, responsible pricing, treatment of clients, data privacy, and complaint resolution. In just five years of offering Smart Certification, 100 FSPs have successfully undergone the rigorous certification process, resulting in greater protection for more than 42 million low-income clients globally.

“Reaching this milestone and seeing the continued interest for certification from a wide range of providers – including fintech startups – is very encouraging,” said Isabelle Barrès, Director of the Smart Campaign. “It demonstrates that protecting consumers and building trust maximizes benefits for both the client and the companies that serve them.”

The certified FSPs are spread throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. The momentum for certification signals that the industry increasingly values client protection not only for the sake of clients, but also because certification streamlines the business practices of FSPs. In a recent survey of certified institutions, 96% of providers agreed that certification helped them better prioritize client protection and 93% noted a clearer alignment between the institution’s culture and its social mission. Another benefit called out by certified FSPs includes increased recognition from clients, regulators, and potential investors. Increasingly, consumer protection is rightfully seen as a business strategy.

The Smart Campaign. (PRNewsFoto/The Smart Campaign) (PRNewsFoto/)

The Smart Campaign will continue its standard-setting and certification efforts with philanthropic support from a wide range of partners. In addition to advancing certification, the Campaign will also work to elevate the client voice in an increasingly digital world, shed light on emerging client risks, and convene policymakers and other stakeholders to effect change at the national level in the countries in which it has certified organizations.

About The Smart Campaign

The Smart Campaign works globally to create an environment in which financial services are delivered safely and responsibly to low-income clients. As the world’s first financial consumer protection standard, the Campaign maintains a rigorous certification program, elevates the client voice, and convenes partners to effect change at the national level. Over 100 financial institutions, collectively serving more than 42 million people, have been certified for adhering to the Campaign’s industry-accepted consumer protection standards. More at www.smartcampaign.org.

About the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) is an action-oriented think tank that engages and challenges the industry to better serve, protect and empower clients. We develop insights, advocate on behalf of clients and collaborate with stakeholders to achieve a comprehensive vision for financial inclusion. We are dedicated to enabling 3 billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector to improve their lives.

www.centerforfinancialinclusion.org

www.cfi-blog.org

@CFI_Accion

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Minister Edna Molewa: Environmental Affairs Dept Budget Vote 2018/19

Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, tables the Department of Environmental Affairs Budget Policy statement 2018/19, National Assembly,

Parliament

‘Thuma Mina for South Africa’s Sustainability’

Honourable Chairperson of the Session;

Honourable Deputy Minister, Honourable Barbara Thomson, MP;

Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers;

Honourable Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee,

Honourable Members of the Portfolio Committee;

Honourable Members of Parliament;

Distinguished Chairpersons and Chief Executives of Public Entities;

Distinguished guests;

Ladies and gentlemen;

Today we present the 2018/2019 budget of the Department of Environmental Affairs. It is an affirmation of our commitment to meeting our country’s developmental needs; transforming and growing our economy; creating jobs; and conserving our environment.

Before I begin with our environmental and sectoral work, I wish to acknowledge a number of milestones in the political life of our nation. This year marks the centenaries of two titans of the liberation movement: President Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu. Tata Mandela’s love for nature was well-known and it is in his honour that we commit ourselves to advance policies to conserve our environment.

We also remember with sadness the passing of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and our stalwart Dr. Zola Skweyiya.

These stalwarts will forever be remembered for their contribution to our liberation and beyond.

As you will know, Ladies and Gentlemen, government, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, has prioritised attracting investment into our economy. Ours is a collective vision of a South Africa in which decent employment is created through inclusive growth, poverty is reduced, and the lives of our citizens are transformed.

From an environmental perspective, it is our mandate to facilitate an economic growth path that is equitable, inclusive, sustainable and environmentally sound. This is in line with our Constitution that promotes sustainable development and the right of all South Africans to enjoy an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being.

The environmental sector continues to be a source and facilitator of investment, job creation, entrepreneurship and skills development � in line with the key objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP).

We have adopted a three-pronged strategic approach to facilitate the government’s long-term radical economic transformation goals. These are our Phakisa Strategic Approach, our Environmental Justice Strategic Approach, and our Economy-wide Service Delivery Strategic Approach.

These work in concert and in pursuit of low-carbon, inclusive and climate resilient growth.

Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Economy

Our approach centres on seizing opportunities presented by the transition to a low carbon economy.

South Africa is a Board member of three significant funding bodies: namely the Green Climate Fund (GCF); the World Bank’s Climate Investment Fund and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

These memberships enable us to shape the policies, programming and governance of these respective institutions. We are also a member of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) and will be hosting the 3rd Ministerial Conference in South Africa in September.

During the last financial year, we have been instrumental in mobilising US$ 119.720 million of which US$ 21.2 million has been grant funding.

Two of our well-capacitated institutions, South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) are accredited as South African Direct Access Entities of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and are currently calling for Expressions of Interest to access GCF resources.

Our four institutions namely SANBI, iSmagaliso Wetland Park, the SAWS and SANParks continue to make us proud in contributing towards the work of environmental conservation.

Ladies and gentlemen,

All of our actions have become all the more imperative within the context of an ever-changing climate. The increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events around South Africa; from flash flooding in some parts of the country to devastating drought in other parts, tells us that climate change has long become a measurable reality.

Our signing of the Paris Agreement to Combat Climate Change is an acknowledgement that this is a problem requiring a global effort.

South Africa continues to play an active role on the international stage through participation in a number of key multilateral environmental agreements and their associated negotiations.

In addition to finalizing our National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, we have developed a draft Climate Change Bill to provide effective national response for both mitigation and adaptation action.

We are also currently implementing Phase One of our Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction system, with carbon budgets already allocated to most of the significant emitters. We are working towards Phase Two, and are confident that once implemented it will support our transition to a low carbon economy and society.

Also as part of our effort to bolster our efforts to combat climate change, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) recently adopted the approach of building a WeatherSMART nation. This aims to enhance our early warning system ensure that climate and weather data, products and applications are available to all South Africans.

Honourable Members,

As we pursue the path of sustainable development, it is essential that we have a regulatory system that is both streamlined and effective, in order to make it easier to do business in South Africa, as well as to attract much needed investment.

This year marks 20 years since the adoption of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as a tool to advance sustainable development. We have over time both simplified and rationalised these processes to allow for greater regulatory efficiency as well as faster turnaround time.

In the past financial year, a total of 1238 EIA applications were finalised by all competent Authorities. Of these, a total of 1190 finalised within the regulated time frames – with only 48 finalized outside the regulated timeframes. This translates to 96% efficiency in processing of applications and we will strive to reach a 100% target in the new financial year.

In order to advance and fast-track environmental authorizations for key infrastructure projects, we continue to undertake Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA’s) upfront.

Over the past year, our vast scientific information has aided in the streamlining of decision-making for South Africa’s Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIPS) led by the Presidency. A total of 33 SIP catalyst projects were authorized in the past financial year.

South Africa is one of the top investment destinations globally for renewable energy, and over the past financial year SEA’s were conducted for renewable energy, shale gas and electricity grid infrastructure. Work is also underway on the Gas Pipeline SEA. In the past financial year, we authorized in excess of 53 828 Megawatts of renewable energy applications drawn from solar, wind, hydro, concentrated solar and cogeneration.

I will now turn to our key focus areas.

The Phakisa Approach

In 2014 Operation Phakisa was launched as a new approach to enable government to implement its policies and programmes better, faster and more effectively; a model that allows us to integrate our work for more effective outcomes.

We have registered notable progress with regards to Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy; Chemicals and Waste Phakisa, and Operation Phakisa Biodiversity Economies.

a) Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy

In continuing to advance the President’s pronouncement in this year’s SONA, we are unlocking the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans, growing our GDP and creating more sustainable jobs: all the while ensuring that our oceans and coastal ecosystems are sustainably managed.

Some of the highlights include the development of a National Guideline Towards the Establishment of Coastal Management Lines. This is intended to minimise risks posed by short and long term coastal processes such as storm surges, erosion and sea level rise. A National Coastal Access Strategy is also under development to provide guidance around access for the public to closed off beaches. In addition, a review of the strategic plan on dealing with estuaries and a national status quo assessment are being conducted.

Governance systems have been put in place led by the Departments of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) as well as other lead departments.

The Marine Spatial Planning Bill was approved by the National Assembly on 24 April 2018. It will now undergo procedures of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). We also continued to ensure enhancement of legislation for the Integrated Coastal and Oceans Management Act or Oceans Act.

We have finalised an associated Marine Spatial Planning Framework, and are working on the development of sub-regional Marine Spatial Management Plans.

In the last financial year our researchers participated in the Second International Indian Ocean Expedition, called IIOE-2. This UN led expedition currently in its second year, is aimed at improving our scientific knowledge of the Indian Ocean with a view to advancing Oceans Economy for South Africa and other member countries to the Indian Oceans Rim Association, or IORA.

We continue to research, monitor and study the oceans through our vessel the Miriam Makeba II as well as our presence in Antarctica and our ownership of the Marion and Prince Edward Islands.

This we do jointly with the South Africa Weather Service (SAWS) enhanced observation networks for climate, weather and oceans.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Marine pollution is one of the biggest challenges we face today and threatens fragile ecosystems. South Africa has a number of measures in place to tackle this problem. The National Pollution Laboratory (NPL) operated by the Walter Sisulu University (WSU) has been established and laboratory work will soon be commencing. This will allow for in depth analysis of the samples that could not be done in the field (mobile laboratory).

In addition, South Africa is amongst the countries to have endorsed the UN Environmental Programme’s Clean Seas Campaign. The campaign is aimed at stepping up international, regional and national efforts to combat marine litter.

In implementing this campaign; I would like to announce the piloting of the Department’s Source to Sea Initiative. It is an ambitious new strategy to investigate, combat pollution in particular plastic pollution which threatens both freshwater and marine ecosystems.

b) Operation Phakisa Biodiversity Economy

South Africa has a multi-faceted approach to the management of its rich natural heritage; one that focuses on an inclusive, value-chain approach to the development of the biodiversity economy.

Our communities are the primary custodians of our country’s biodiversity. Strategic investments will ultimately enhance our domestic industrialization processes as we produce final high value products for the global market.

In line with the President’ investment drive, we will be launching the Biodiversity Economy Investment Catalogue, that profiles investment ready biodiversity economy projects.

Over the past year we have also identified 2 000 000 hectares of land suitable for biodiversity economy activities, and updated our National Biodiversity Economy Strategy to include specific, measurable and achievable targets. The National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) has also been amended to specifically address the Bio prospecting and Bio Trade Sectors.

In the past year 292 permanent jobs have been created in the Bio trade and Bio prospecting sector, and 989 in wildlife economy pilot projects such as Balepye, Double Drift and Mfolozi Big Five.

Our plans for the 2018/2019 financial year include increasing the supply of indigenous species by adding at least 500 hectares of land to be cultivated with high value species. This will be complemented by ongoing implementation of a game donation and custodianship policy framework.

The South African National Parks (SANParks) remains the jewel in our conservation crown; continuing to attract record numbers of visitors. A total of 77 340 people visited the various parks for free during SANParks week in the last financial year. The number of participants in our Environmental Education Programmes last financial year was 208 495.

Looking to the year ahead, SANParks has initiated a 5-year new Revenue Generation Framework. It identifies projects to be initiated, ranging from new infrastructure plans and new PPP arrangements to improving tourism products.

The Richtersveld Park Management Plan has been completed, while the Kruger Park Management Plan is undergoing a final review process.

In support of the transformation of the wildlife sector, five buffalos were donated to the Matsila Community Trust in May 2017 and 65 different types of plain game were donated to the Komani San Community Property Association late last year. A technical site inspection has also been done for a game donation to the Motlhabatse CPA.

Operation Phakisa � Chemicals and Waste

a) Waste/Recycling Economy and Chemicals

I now want to turn to one of the most important emerging contributors to the generation of jobs in the green economy, the waste sector. Waste economy has the potential to address inequality, poverty alleviation and create jobs. Dignifying the plight of waste pickers is furthermore moral responsibility that we have to address.

Our approach to circular economy is to decouple material and resource efficiency from economic growth while dealing with wasteful patterns of production and consumption.

The Recycling Enterprise Support Programme (RESP) has already made a material impact to the lives of 12 black owned and managed enterprises.

The primary objective of this programme is to provide developmental funding for projects in the form of start-up grants. These projects are either start-up or pre-existing enterprises establishing Buy-Back Centres, Material Recovery Facilities, Construction & Demolishing solutions and plastic palletisation plants in line with the Operation Phakisa initiatives. This has been allocated a budget R 194 million over a three-year period.

We are currently reviewing for the third time, the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS). It will take into consideration our commitments to waste minimisation, the further development of the Circular Economy and consider the capacity or resource implications for the implementation of waste management functions.

With regards to chemicals, Cabinet has recommended to Parliament that South Africa ratify the Minamata Convention on Mercury and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on the Protection of the Ozone Layer. The Kigali amendment will have co-benefits for mitigating climate change and also ozone-depletion. It is worth noting that we met our targets to reduce our consumption of HCFC’s by 20% in the 2017/18 financial year.

I would like to turn briefly to the issue of plastic pollution. As we celebrate World Environment Day themed beating plastic pollution, we are committed to minimize plastic pollution and implement the recommendations of the plastic material flow study.

In line with resolutions taken at the UN General Assembly and UN Environmental Assembly respectively, this year we have conducted a Plastic Material Study in collaboration with industry, the South African Bureau of Standards, the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, the National Treasury and the Department of Health.

We are consulting with the cosmetics industry to phase out the use of micro beads in cosmetics.

The Department (DEA) together with the DTI (& its agencies SABS and NRCS) and National Treasury) will also be reviewing the impact of the implementation of the plastic bag policies.

We will continue to work with the packaging sector (paper, glass, plastic and metal) to increase over and above 58% the amount of waste diverted from landfill.

In response to the Presidential THUMA-MINA Initiative, the Department will be launching the Keep South Africa Clean campaign; to mobilize every citizen to become environmentally conscious. We want to see a South Africa free of litter and illegal dumping. The main purpose of this campaign is to change attitudes and behaviour towards waste – and enable people to take responsibility for keeping their communities clean.

2. Environmental Justice Strategic Approach

Air Quality

In the air quality area, we will be conducting Source apportionment studies in both the Vaal Triangle Airshed and Highveld Priority Areas. The health impact study has subsequently been completed. These studies will be utilised in the review of air quality management plans.

In partnership with industry in the resolving evident air pollution problems in these areas, we have agreed on requirements to implement offset projects.

Working with and through SAWS we have also upgraded our South African Air Quality Information System (SAAQIS). South Africans can now view the state of air live from the government monitoring network on their smart phones and other gadgets.

Rhino poaching

I would like to turn now to the rhino poaching situation. We remain cautiously optimistic that we are turning the tide on the scourge of rhino poaching. The number of rhinos poached last year was down to 1028 from 1054 the previous year. We attribute this decline to the multifaceted interventions that we are deploying. I would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to the many rangers that patrol our parks and look after our natural heritage for current and future generations. Our efforts will be further supported through the new programme with a budget of US$4.86 million that has been approved by the Global Environment Facility 6th replenishment. In addition, we have recently successfully translocated 6 black rhinos to the Republic of Chad as part of our range expansion strategy. This translocation was achieved through a collaboration between the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Government of Chad, SANParks and the African Parks Foundation.

Implementing CITES decisions

Over the past year there has been cooperation between SANBI, the Scientific Authority, the Department and provincial authorities to ensure full compliance with decisions taken at the 17th Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

This includes identifying and implementing protocols for the registration of over 1 000 facilities for breeding captive bred parrots; strengthening the monitoring of leopard populations to improve science based decision making; and initiating a research project to understand how trade in lion bone may impact on wild lion populations.

Conclusion

Honourable Members,

Conserving the environment is not the responsibility of government alone: we all need to play our part. Whether it is taking part in community clean-up campaigns, donating to a SANparks programme, or choosing to recycle your waste � change begins with individual action, no matter how small. Similarly, we call upon industry to also do its part.

President Ramaphosa has through the Thuma Mina Initiative, affirmed the need for us to take charge of our own destinies as citizens; and I encourage all sectors of society to join hands with us to Keep South Africa Clean. Thuma Mina for South Africa’s Sustainability!

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa

SISULU: SOUTH AFRICA REMAINS COMMITTED TO AFRICA FREE TRADE AREA PACT

CAPE TOWN– South Africa remains committed to becoming a signatory to the African Union’s agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), says Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Lindiwe Sisulu.

At a meeting of African heads of State and government in Kigali, Rwanda, on March 21, South Africa held off signing the actual agreement until legal and other instruments associated with AfCFTA are processed and ratified by South African stakeholders and Parliament.

Sisulu in a media briefing ahead of the presentation of her department’s Buget Vote in Parliament here Tuesday, however, announced that South Africa signing the agreement is on the Cabinet’s agenda.

South Africa is fully committed to the AfCFTA and signed the Kigali Declaration launching the AfCFTA, which demonstrates South Africa’s political commitment to sign the Agreement and its Protocols, once it has fulfilled its domestic requirements, including consultations with social partners and ascent by Parliament,” she added.

The agreement, once signed and ratified by the required number of countries to come into force, aims to tackle the non-tariff barriers which hamper trade among African countries, such as long delays at the border.

It is also aimed at deepening African economic integration by promoting agricultural development, food security, industrialization and structural economic transformation through a single continental air transportation market with free movement of people, capital, goods and services.

The envisaged AfCFTA is designed to combine market integration with industrial and infrastructure development to address Africa’s productive capacity to remove supply-side constraints, promote the diversification of Africa’s export base from dependence on raw materials to value-added products, as well as alleviate the chronic infrastructure deficit on the continent.

The AfCFTA will make Africa the largest free trade area (FTA) in terms of the number of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization, with a potential to create an African market of more than 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of 2.5 trillion US dollars.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Defence will be key in the second leg vs Mozambique – Amajita ...

The defence will have to be solid for us to get past Mozambique in the second leg second round of the CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday (20 May 2018).

These are the words of Malebogo Modise, who plays at left back for the Burger King-sponsored South African U20 Men’s National Team (Amajita).

South Africa will host Mozambique at Moruleng Stadium near Rustenburg.

Kickoff is at 15h00.

Modise has warned his teammates not be too relaxed but be solid at the back and lethal in front of goal if they are to go through to the third and final round of the qualifiers.

The two nations played to a 1-1 draw last weekend (Saturday, 12 May) in Beira City � giving Amajita the away goal advantage.

The defence will pay a big role in this match, we have to make sure they don’t anything past us and we will have a good chance of progressing to the next round. We will have to be switched on from the start of the match. The goal they scored agaisnt us was because of our mistake as we allowed them in, but now we will be stronger than in the first leg as we have seen they can be dangerous if left unchecked, said Modise.

With the scores level at 1-1, our approach going forward will have to be lethal and not waste opportunities like the ones that came our way in Beira City. While the defence shuts the back door, the forwards will have to get goals so we can ease the pressure a bit on ourselves. The advantage is with us but it’s too tight to can relax on it, so we have to get a goal early on to make it difficult for them to come back into the match.

Modise, who played for Amajita in the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup, says it is going to be a big battle on Sunday.

It’s going to be a big game. We played to a draw in their backyard and they will want to come here and beat us because that is the only thing that will make them go through, but we don’t want to lose to them so it is going to be tough, we will both be fighting for points, added Modise.

In the first leg, we didn’t know much about them � some of our players were were battling and couldn’t adapt quick enough in the first half, but in the second stanza they came to the party after they realised how Mozambique was playing. Now that we are aware of what they are capable of, we will capitalise on their weaknesses and do the best we can to win the match. This is a very important one for us and we can’t relax because of the away goal, we must fight even harder.

The overal winner between South Africa and Mozambique will meet the winner between Malawi and Angola in the next round of qualifiers scheduled for July.

Source: South African Football Association

Defence will be key in the second leg vs Mozambique – Amajita ...

The defence will have to be solid for us to get past Mozambique in the second leg second round of the CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday (20 May 2018).

These are the words of Malebogo Modise, who plays at left back for the Burger King-sponsored South African U20 Men’s National Team (Amajita).

South Africa will host Mozambique at Moruleng Stadium near Rustenburg.

Kickoff is at 15h00.

Modise has warned his teammates not be too relaxed but be solid at the back and lethal in front of goal if they are to go through to the third and final round of the qualifiers.

The two nations played to a 1-1 draw last weekend (Saturday, 12 May) in Beira City � giving Amajita the away goal advantage.

The defence will pay a big role in this match, we have to make sure they don’t anything past us and we will have a good chance of progressing to the next round. We will have to be switched on from the start of the match. The goal they scored agaisnt us was because of our mistake as we allowed them in, but now we will be stronger than in the first leg as we have seen they can be dangerous if left unchecked, said Modise.

With the scores level at 1-1, our approach going forward will have to be lethal and not waste opportunities like the ones that came our way in Beira City. While the defence shuts the back door, the forwards will have to get goals so we can ease the pressure a bit on ourselves. The advantage is with us but it’s too tight to can relax on it, so we have to get a goal early on to make it difficult for them to come back into the match.

Modise, who played for Amajita in the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup, says it is going to be a big battle on Sunday.

It’s going to be a big game. We played to a draw in their backyard and they will want to come here and beat us because that is the only thing that will make them go through, but we don’t want to lose to them so it is going to be tough, we will both be fighting for points, added Modise.

In the first leg, we didn’t know much about them � some of our players were were battling and couldn’t adapt quick enough in the first half, but in the second stanza they came to the party after they realised how Mozambique was playing. Now that we are aware of what they are capable of, we will capitalise on their weaknesses and do the best we can to win the match. This is a very important one for us and we can’t relax because of the away goal, we must fight even harder.

The overal winner between South Africa and Mozambique will meet the winner between Malawi and Angola in the next round of qualifiers scheduled for July.

Source: South African Football Association

Minister Jeff Radebe: Energy Dept Budget Vote 2018/19

2018 Budget Vote Speech by Minister of Energy, Mr Jeff Radebe, MP, at the National Assembly, Parliament

Honourable Speaker

Honourable Members of Parliament

Cabinet Colleagues present

Deputy Minister of Energy, Ambassador Thembisile Majola

Members of the Portfolio Committee on Energy, led by Honourable

Chairperson, Mr Fikile Majola

Director-General of the Department, Mr Thabane Zulu

Officials of the Department of Energy

Chairpersons and CEOs of the energy entities

Invited guests

Ladies and gentlemen

Introduction

I have the honour to table this budget vote for the Department of Energy for the financial year 2018\2019

The Department of Energy (DoE) is mandated to ensure the secure and sustainable provision of energy for the socio-economic development of our country.

In this Centenary Year, we are celebrating the life and achievements of Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu, the icons of our nation.

As we celebrate, we should take time to reflect on whether we have done justice to his vision for our people, which is also the vision of our Constitution, to transform South Africa into a more equitable, integrated and just society.

This vision is the foundation on which we are renewing and reviving our country and our democracy. Nelson Mandela said: It always seems impossible until it’s done. Now is the time to reinvigorate our efforts and focus on delivering his ideals for our people, until it is done. We, as a nation, deserve nothing less.

Importance of Energy mix in economic growth

Lenin is remembered for many things he has done and said, but one he is usually forgotten for is that he espoused that Socialism is Soviet Power plus Electrification. This statement remains true to this day in so far as its underlying message goes, namely, that no industrial power can exist without developing its energy apparatus, in general, and expanding its electrification program, in particular.

Statistically, this has been proved and reproved time and again since the 1950’s under Janossy’s famous electricity law � one of the best established in the National Accounts � according to which growth in a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is the quadratic average of the electricity it produces.

We are pleased to witness South Africa’s continued growth in its commerce and manufacturing and expect that this will increase demand on key energy assets. This economic growth is projected to continue, and will increase demand, for example we expect energy transportation consumption alone to increase by 74% between 2020 and 2050.

Using Energy To Ignite The Economic Growth

President Ramaphosa has set us all a target to attract $100Billion of investment into our economy. This cannot be possible without appreciating the role of a plurality of generational choices being open to South Africa. We would like the energy sector to contribute as a minimum to a quarter of this target. This ambitious goal could be reached in the energy sector with several initiatives that could include:

Securing strategic stock through investment in new fuels tanks and in infrastructure required for South Africa to become a major shale gas producer

Promoting Natural Gas (NG) by designing and building infrastructure required to transport natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG)

Driving towards cleaner fuels by improving our refinery assets to meet world class emissions standards

Supporting the transition towards electrification of transport, through key strategic partnerships.

We understand that this is an ambitious goal but we know we can do this, because we have successfully done it before in the renewables sector.

The Role of Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP)

From 2014 to 2016, through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), South Africa was able to secure investment of $10.8Billion into the renewables sector. This was significantly more than any other African state in the same period, and more recently we have continued growing the renewables sector through the recent signing of the Independent Power Produce (IPP) agreements, securing R56Billion of investment into 27 new projects.

Expedite Coal And Gas Contribution To The Energy Sector Thereby Attracting Possible Foreign Direct Investment

Today, at a time that we and the rest of the world are responding to profound resource and technology changes in the energy sector as well as the sector’s contribution to and impact of climate change, it is time that we remind ourselves of our collective commitments and obligation to all our citizens, especially the poor.

Globally, gas is the fastest growing fossil fuel and it is expected to catch up with coal over the next 20 years. It is emerging as the main hydrocarbon component of a more sustainable mix to power the world’s economy. Being increasingly accessible due to technological advancements and enhanced market liquidity, gas will see its demand steadily growing across the world. In SA, natural gas, whether imported via regional pipelines or liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals at strategic port locations should be prioritised as it could play an important role in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. This direction will establish a game-changing demand platform for the future exploration and utilisation of South Africa’s latent shale-gas resources to the benefit of security of supply for future generations.

Gas to Power Programme: It should be noted that the price of electricity is a very important component of our economy. Therefore, the IPP Programme provides the much needed competition in power generation with a view of providing lower prices to the economy but most importantly to indigent households.

The Gas to Power Programme was started two years ago and a substantial work has been done in relation to the required studies at the different ports, most important in Richards Bay and Coega. I have thus instructed the IPP Office to resuscitate the programme and take a lead in engaging with the different stakeholders that the country is working towards a single goal.

The initial phase of the Gas to Power Programme will utilise imported Liquefied Natural Gas whilst looking at the options related to the regional gas and the domestic shale gas in the long term. The result will be to stimulate the development of a gas demand in South Africa whilst providing a market for the expected domestic shale gas.

Promulgating the revised Integrated Energy Plan (IEP), Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), Liquid Fuels And Gas Master Plans

On the 8th of May 2018 I committed to the Portfolio Committee that Department will open the revised IEP and IRP for consultation with all key stakeholders and the public with an aim of submitting the policy adjusted IEP, IRP, Liquid Fuels and Gas Master Plans to Cabinet by August 2018 for approval.

This will bring much needed certainty on the country’s energy infrastructure build programme and will also restore confidence that South Africa is well prepared to supply reliable energy to grow the economy.

The Rationale for the New Refinery

Refinery is a significant contributor to the economy and the issue of the sustainability of the current refineries is of utmost concern. The refining sector is facing major challenges which include the provision of cleaner fuels, adhering to minimum emission standards and meeting the bunker fuel oil sulphur cap of 2020. Our refineries are not equipped to produce the latest fuels required by modern vehicle engines to reduce vehicle emissions and improve efficiency.

These challenges are not insurmountable but require significant investment with long lead times within the context being set by the regulatory regime. To this end we intend to finalise the Regulatory Framework to provide policy certainty to the Industry by end of 2018. In so doing, we will engage the Industry in a constructive and comprehensive way over the next few months in order to develop a plan that delivers on these objectives in the best interests of South Africa.

In line with the National Development Plan, government will provide a detailed plan that will be made available by the end of November 2018.

Petroleum Sector Transformation

To effect Radical Economic Transformation which is about decisive steps of placing the economy on a qualitatively different path that eliminates poverty, creates jobs and sustainable livelihoods and substantially reduce inequality and de-racialization of the economy, the Department together with relevant stakeholders in the liquid fuels industry is aligning the Petroleum and liquid fuels charter with the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Act and policy frameworks.

The objective is to resolve the identified impediments stated in the Public Proclamation gazetted on the 13 September 2017. The process must be completed by September 2018 such that we are able to effect Section 10 of the B-BBEE Act that requires all organs of state to apply the Petroleum sector code to determine qualification criteria for issuing Petroleum Licenses.

The draft reviewed scored cards adopt a value chain transformation opportunities with quick wins and High impact which lead to a framework of having 7 subsectors scorecards namely Retail, Wholesale; Manufacturing; Biofuels; Gas; Access to infrastructure; Public Sector. The draft sector code is currently being discussed robustly by all stakeholders.

I will release the long overdue Petroleum Retail Audit results before the end of the 3rd Quarter of this financial year and that will provide the system of allocation of Licenses provided for by section 2E of the Petroleum Products Act as amended.

Shale Gas discoveries in the Karoo will be a game changer for the South African economy and energy mix. South Africa will therefore continue to work on creating a conduce environment for the exploration and development of shale gas in South Africa in the near future. The finalization of the Minerals, Petroleum and Development Act (Act) this year as announced by the President in the State of the Nation Address, already begins to create this environment.

Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA)

The amendments to the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) were approved by Cabinet in and first introduced in the National Assembly process. To unlock the potential for oil and gas development in our country it is imperative that the process of finalising MPRDA be concluded as matter of urgency. This will bring clarity on acreage both offshore and onshore as an attractive proposition for oil and gas exploration companies.

The gradual rise in the oil price means that oil companies will start to have appetite for gas and oil exploration. Consequently, South Africa must be ready to capture this opportunity and the finalisation

Regional Integration

We will continue to engage with our counter-parts and play our role in the multilateral organisations such as BRICS and host the BRICS Energy Ministers Meeting and BRICS Working Group on Energy Saving and Improvement of Energy Efficiency.

In pursuit of the continental economic integration agenda and to ensure facilitation of energy sector participation in the SADC region, Africa and the rest of the world in the bilateral and multilateral forums, the Department will host the SADC Energy Ministers Meeting.

The South African Economy has benefited from gas from Mozambique for over a decade now. The capacity of the pipeline has been expanded significantly availing gas for RSA and Mozambique. Infrastructure ownership model of private sector and the two governments has served us well.

There is room for more participation by the two governments as well as other entrants in the marketing of molecules in the South African market. In this regard, I will be engaging my counterpart in Mozambique to seek further collaboration. Officials of the two countries will meet before the end of May to prepare a roadmap for a joint programme.

The gas finds in the ROVUMA Basin in Mozambique provide an opportunity for that country, South Africa and the SADC region to benefit from such resources. We are firmly of the view that together with our Mozambican counterpart, we need to develop an infrastructure programme, which will allow the gas to be beneficiated through projects such as a Gas to Liquids Plant and other petrochemical facilities in Mozambique as well as a pipeline from ROVUMA to the south of Mozambique, which in our view would enable construction of Gas to Power projects in both countries.

State Owned Entities

Reform of State-owned Enterprises is one of the major themes that the President underlined in his State of the Nation Address. The President has stressed the need for Government to restore State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) as drivers of economic growth and social development.

SoEs are a crucial part of achieving economic recovery, transformation and promoting sustained economic development.

To attract investment we will be initiating activities to turnaround our State-Owned Enterprises, including our Central Energy Fund (CEF) and PetroSA.

CEF Restructuring: – For CEF we will refocus its mandate, uplift its technical capabilities, re-balance its portfolio and set it up with a clear governance structure to make quick and decisive decisions. This turnaround of CEF will enable it to create significant positive impact on SA’s energy landscape (e.g. Optimise dependency on import, improve energy security, catalyse the required industry transformation, drive socio-economic & sustainable benefits and ensure CEF is able to contribute significantly towards the implementation of the energy elements of the National Development Plan).

For PetroSA; the turnaround will include improving key capabilities that will stabilise the company. This turnaround will involve making sure critical projects are delivered on time and budget, any liabilities are properly managed, operations are made more efficient and effective and commercial capabilities are uplifted to capture greater profits.

We see a bright future for the SA energy sector, and believe that these initiatives will attract investment and help us to continue our positive trajectory of growth.

NECSA is strategically positioning itself to further entrench its global leadership position in medical radioisotopes through its subsidiary NTP SOC Limited. In addition to this NECSA also intends strengthening its contribution to the South African Health sector. This will be through both supply of medical radioisotopes as well as supply of fluorine based active pharmaceutical ingredients or API’s to substitute currently imported pharmaceutical products.

Honourable Members,

The Department is appropriated R7, 045 billion in the 2018/19 financial year. Operational funding to execute the mandate of the Department remains a challenge. Our operational budget is allocated R617 million translating to 8.76% of the total appropriation and the balance of R6, 428 billion being 91.24% as transfer payments to the Department’s entities as well as other government agencies, with the substantial budget transferred to:

INEP implementation programme by Eskom at R3.3 billion

INEP Non-Grid at R202 million

Transfers to Municipalities for INEP Programmes at R1.9 billion

EEDSM Municipalities allocated R215 million; and the remaining balance R816 million for our entities.

In view of our budgetary constraints, complexity of some of our priority policy changes and energy sector challenges, I am confident that the Department together with its state owned entities will be able to rise above these challenges and move our economy towards the achievement of socioeconomic development of all our people as well as the targets we have set ourselves in the NDP, Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan.

Addressing the department’s human capital challenge of developing and retaining a skilled workforce that is capable of designing, implementing and overseeing our strategic programmes as well finalise all pending legislative and policy issues is my top priority. I will ensure that within the next three months all critical vacant positions are filled.

I would also like to thank the Director General, the entire Executive Management of the Department, the Boards and Executives of our Entities, as well as Team Energy for your hard work and commitment to public service.

I would also like to acknowledge the key role played by the Deputy Minister, Ambassador Majola for her support, guidance and valuable contribution in the achievement of Departmental strategic objectives. I look forward to us working together and strengthening our efforts in improving energy governance, stimulating economic growth and transforming the energy sector.

In conclusion, I wish to thank my predecessors for the solid foundation laid in this Department that has led to our many achievements in the Department thus far.

Speaker, I commend to this House the budget of the Department of Energy.

I Thank You!

Source: Government of South Africa

International success for E Cape farm

You have to be a really hard nut to crack yourself, if you want to make it as a macadamia nut farmer, says Cowan Skelem, one of the leading people behind Ncera Macadamia Farming (NMF), near East London. For, the strongest determination, is what it takes to make it in this industry.

Although macadamia nuts are said to be hard to beat when it comes to the most lucrative crop per land area used in South Africa, it takes several years for farmers of this crop to finally see a return on their investment.

It takes perseverance and determination because one waits more than seven years before a tree can even produce nuts, says Skelem.

He began his role at the farm as a general worker pushing a wheelbarrow. But today, Skelem is a skilled worker who is exposed to the overall running of the business, from administration to logistics and overall supervision of the business.

Before working at the farm, he was unemployed after he lost his job in the local town and was battling to provide for his four-member family but working at the farm has allowed Skelem to buy food and school uniforms for his children and send them to proper schools.

I am happy and blessed to be working here at the farm. I am enjoying my work and it helps me to put food on the table and provide for my kids, he says.

The Ncera Macadamia Farming, which is 51% community-owned, is one of many success stories that show land reform can result in greater inclusion, economic growth and job creation.

Government has identified access to land, through land restitution and other schemes, as one of the ways to grow the economy, ensure food security and increase agricultural production. To date, over 4 850 100 hectares have been acquired through the land redistribution programme.

Since 2009, over 1 743 farms have benefited from the Recapitalisation and Development Programme.

However, land reform has not been without challenges, as some communities still lack the necessary and appropriate support, as well as access to finance that can help them grow to commercial farming status.

The Eastern Cape is one of the provinces with very large under-utilised tracts of land still under communal tenure that rests unused. But the community of Ncera is determined to change this, and through partnerships and support from the government, the 40 000-strong community is on its way to become top producers of Macadamia nuts in the country.

The R100 million project thrives on partnerships between the East Cape Macadamia (Pty) Ltd (ECM), the community under the Vulindlela Investment Trust as well as government.

The model is based on an 80 year-term land lease agreement, which was signed between the community and the ECM. The latter would oversee production, marketing, processing and management and facilitate access to markets while create employment, transferring skills and generating income for the community whose land they use.

The most defining feature of this partnership is that the community has a final say on all procurement opportunities, skills transfer and jobs created. This guarantees the community the bulk of all opportunities brought about by the project.

According to the Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association, new macadamia tree plantings have increased the number of trees in South Africa from about one million in 1996 to more than eight million in 2016, covering a total area of approximately 28 000 hectares.

It is estimated that at least 7 150 permanent job opportunities have been created on macadamia farms and another 600 permanent jobs in cracking facilities. In peak season, the industry presently provides employment for an additional 8 150 workers. A total of 12 500 full-time equivalent workers are estimated to be employed by the macadamia industry in South Africa.

Community members in Ncera have not only found jobs through the macadamia nuts they are farming, but are also beneficiaries of the economic spinoffs produced by this lucrative plant.

Their story is a further indication of the impact that access to land can have on economic growth and job creation. The farm currently employs 157 permanent community members as well as seasonal workers during the harvesting period.

Our story is very important to the community especially when it comes to the skills that this project has exposed us to. I started off as a general worker pushing a wheelbarrow but now I am a skilled worker who is exposed in the overall running of the business from the administration, logistics and now I’m the supervisor.

He explains that 90% of the nuts produced in the Eastern Cape farm are exported to big markets such as the United States, Russia and China.

I am very proud because it means generations to come, even my own grand-children will benefit from the life-long dollar-based income-generated by the trusts with the sale of the nuts.

Founding chairman of the NMF board Joe Njongolo says that the project’s business strategy is prolonged and focuses on education and skills development which are aimed at turning Ncera into a self-reliant and sustainable rural community.

For the first time, macadamia nuts are being grown by rural communities who own the full value chain, including the nursery and factories.

This sends a statement to the whole industry that rural communities are capable, and with land they are not just coming in to own one component of the industry as labours – but they are able to thrive in the industry as a whole.

Njogolo sees the farm as an alternative to the mining sector as the Eastern Cape has been known to be the biggest supplier of labour to the mines.

The project has also boosted local contractors in the areas of transport and logistics, among others as most of the work in these areas is given to local companies.

Consequently, about R200 000 per annum is set aside for services provided by contractors operating within the Ncera community.

The project has made more than R11, 6 million since its launch in 2006 and has grown to also include a top-class nursery.

The nursery, which received a five-star rating from the SA Macadamia Growers’ Association, has led to expansion of the Ncera Macadamia Farming and gave birth to the Amajingqi Macadamia Farming located in Amajingqi near Willowvale on the Wild Coast.

Launched in 2015, the project has already seen the production of 200 hectares of trees and plans to expand.

Njogolo says the long-term intention of the community is to branch out of the Eastern Cape and develop the whole macadamia value chain and create more sustainable economic opportunities in provinces such as Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

We see NMF as a template for empowerment and economic development for rural communities which can be duplicated across the country and to other farming sectors. We challenge the government to seriously look unto ventures of this nature, he says.

While the pace of land reform and restitution has been the subject of criticism, government is adamant that it is addressing the challenges emerging farmers experience as a matter of urgency.

Government support is also provided through various state programmes such as Letsema, the Recapitalisation and Development Programme, and through funding agency Mafisa.

Support involves training, access to credit, on and off farm infrastructure, access to markets, subsidising agricultural insurance and the transfer of scientific research and knowledge.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Ministers to meet over Restitution of Land Rights Amendment

Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Michael Masutha says he will meet with the Minister of Rural Development and Land Affairs, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to accelerate the revised Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act, as directed by the Constitutional Court.

The Minister said this ahead of the debate of the Budget Vote of the Office of the Chief Justice and Judicial Administration in the Old Assembly Chamber on Wednesday afternoon.

The envisaged amendment act seeks to create a separate Land Claims Court with its own judges, the Minister said.

He said the engagement with Minister Nkoana-Mashabane would also seek to find solutions for the requisite financial support to Legal Aid South Africa with regard to its representation of eligible litigants in land restitution matters.

Focus on bolstering human resource capacity

The Minister said, meanwhile, that the capacitation of the Office of the Chief Justice remains one of the office’s strategic goals.

He said over the 2017/18 financial year, the Office of the Chief Justice has steadily worked at increasing the department’s human capital.

In this regard, he said that the department had 1 898 funded posts, compared to 1 679 from the previous financial year.

There has been a steady increase in the personnel of the Office of the Chief Justice. As at 31 March 2018, the department had 1 898 posts. These include staff for the Mpumalanga High Court.

The difficult economic situation and budget ceilings on the compensation of employees continues to be a challenge, he said.

Advancing the transformation of the judiciary

The Minister said, meanwhile, that the Judicial Services Commission has consistently sought to advance the transformation of the Judiciary, which relates to racial and gender representation.

Through the Aspirant Judges Programme and similar training programmes, the South Africa Judicial Education Institute is providing a platform through which an adequate pool of judges can be sought, addressing transformation of the judiciary.

To this aim, the funds allocated for judicial training of judicial officials has increased from R41 million to R52 million for the 2018/19 financial year, he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister said Cabinet has appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee to undertake research and advise Cabinet on an appropriate court administration model.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee has already done extensive work in this regard and I am optimistic that this important work will be accomplished in this financial year. The report and recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee will also take into consideration the views of the judiciary on this matter, he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency