Ekurhuleni to invest R2.2bn in energy
The city of Ekurhuleni has committed R2.2-billion to invest in energy infrastructure over the next three years.
“Ekurhuleni is pursuing a renewable energy strategy that will generate 10 MW of energy by 2021 as part of its local strategy to ensure energy stability in the region, without completely relying on the national grid, Mayor Mzwandile Masina said at the yearly Manufacturing Indaba, in Kempton Park, on Wednesday.
The infrastructure investment also includes a programme for electrification in informal settlements across Ekurhuleni, which will be completed by the end of this financial year and cover 16 000 households.
Meanwhile, the city also wanted to improve the logistics network in the metro as part of improving its industrial and transport infrastructure,” he noted adding that it was Ekurhuleni’s goal to become the strategic logistics centre for South Africa.
“We want to build a modern airport city that specialises in providing beneficiation, storage and transportation of industrial products to external markets into Africa and world markets.”
Masina stressed that the country needed to diversify its economy to rely less on the export of raw minerals.
“We must transform our [raw materials] into semi-finished and finished manufactured goods through local beneficiation, which has immense potential for economic growth by developing new industries and creating jobs and business opportunities for historically marginalised people,” he said.
Infrastructure projects on the continent provide opportunities for South African companies to manufacture and export rail parts, locomotives, construction goods and machinery, he said.
Masina also called on government and the private sector to cooperate and better respond to opportunities for growth in order to reduce poverty and inequality.
Masina pointed out that investments made by the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality were complementing an already large industrial investment bill led by the Department of Trade and Industry.
He encouraged the private sector to join the city: “Working together, we can transform our economy to achieve growth, transform its structure, reduce general inequality and create more jobs,” Masina said.