Despite South Africa facing unprecedented challenges of power shortage, China is pleased to see the positive results of government and business efforts, according to Chinese ambassador to SA Chen Xiaodong.
Speaking at the inaugural China-South Africa New Energy Investment and Cooperation Conference in Sandton on Tuesday, also addressed by Power Minister Kogosiensho Ramogopa, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and SA Ambassador to China Siyabonga Kwel, Chen said his country was ready to provide support. was prepared for South Africa “within our capacity”.
The purpose of the conference is to strengthen cooperation in new energy between the two countries – helping South Africa deal with the current power crisis and find ways to build a stronger post-Covid economy.
Chen said that China is “very concerned with the challenges here and we are ready to provide assistance to South Africa within our capacity”.
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He said that China and South Africa had “a historic task of energy transition and sustainable economic development”.
“Therefore, it is a very high time for us to collaborate further on new energy investments.
“The development of electric powers and a green and low-carbon approach will be the future.”
“Through today’s conference, we would like to implement the important common understanding of our two Heads of State – to create a platform for information exchange and cooperation between enterprises and institutions in both countries.
“We would like to mobilize more stakeholders to participate in South Africa’s new energy industry – providing assistance to ease the power crisis and injecting new momentum into practical cooperation between China and South Africa,” Chen said. Said.
Chen said Ramokgopa is expected to visit China in the next few days.
“I am confident that his visit will further promote our exchanges and cooperation in this field,” Chen said.
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Chen said China is South Africa’s largest trading partner, while South Africa has been China’s largest trading partner in Africa for 13 years.
“During the first five months of this year, our bilateral trade exceeded $24 billion – up 18% year-on-year.
“Of that number, South Africa’s exports to China reached more than $13 billion, up more than 19% year-on-year.”
Ramokgopa recently met Chen to discuss areas of cooperation to eliminate load shedding in the country.
Potential areas of cooperation between the two countries include:
- sourcing technical expertise;
- demand side management intervention with respect to supply;
- training youth to meet the demands of solar PV installation;
- introduction of micro-grid;
- emergency power.
The engagement was followed by a meeting with Business Unity South Africa, which focused on areas of collaboration between government and businesses to address the energy crisis.
Addressing delegates at the conference from China via a video, Cwele said: “This initiative comes at an opportune time as the South African government is accelerating the implementation of comprehensive measures to address the current power shortage and Looking for reliable partners from friendly countries.
“2023 marks the 25th anniversary of the friendly relations between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China, which has taken a giant leap forward to a strategic partnership.
“Our leaders describe our relationship as being based on mutual trust – a relationship of comrades and friends, that is guided by our mutual trust and to explore new avenues for benefit.”