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Patel Shines Light on Green Hydrogen Economy

April 16, 2021

Department of Trade, Industry and Competition

Government is committed to working with all stakeholders to create an enabling environment for the development of the green hydrogen economy in South Africa.

The trade, industry and competition minister, Ebrahim Patel, declared this during the 2nd Renewable Hydrogen and Green Powerfuels Webinar co-hosted by the British High Commission to South Africa.

In a trade, industry and competition department statement, the minister added that government, in partnership with collaborative partners, will continue to support the development of the hydrogen economy and fuel cell manufacturing capabilities.

The minister regards the Hydrogen Economy as a potential “game changer” not just for South Africa, but for the world at large.

He emphasized that South Africa is “well positioned to capitalise on the rapidly-developing global hydrogen economy, to reindustrialise the country and to become an exporter of cost-effective green hydrogen to the world”.

The plan is for the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to lead the commercialisation of green hydrogen efforts in conjunction with the science and innovation department.

According to the minister, the IDC will “focus on identifying investment opportunities that will be progressed to enable pilot projects to be implemented in the short term. It will promote public/private sector linkages that will be critical to the development of (and extraction of value from) the entire green hydrogen value chain”.

Meanwhile, in another statement, the deputy minister of trade, industry and competition, Nomalungelo Gina, has stressed that the “Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Programme continues to successfully drive industrialisation of the country despite the devastating impact of the pandemic on the economy”.

“The SEZ Programme has managed to attract a significant number of investors. This has seen the value of operational investments increasing from R17.7 billion by the end of the third quarter of the 2019-2020 financial year to R19.5 billion by the end of the third quarter of 2020-2021 financial year. This is a positive increase of R1.8 billion. During the same period, the number of investments have increased from 129 to 143,” she said.

Achievements of the SEZ Programme during the 2020-2021 financial year include Tshwane Automotive SEZ completing the construction of 12 factories with private investment value of R4.33 billion; Dube Tradeport securing new investments worth approximately R600 million creating 841 jobs; Coega signing four new investors estimated to be valued at approximately R49 million creating an estimated 101 new jobs and Saldanha Bay completing the construction of two manufacturing facilities with an investment value of R380 million creating approximately 90 direct jobs.

In a separate matter, the department published, in Government Gazette 44453, the varieties of sugarcane approved by the South African Sugar Association for planting during the year commencing 1 April 2021 exclusively in the control areas or part of a control area specified.

The notice was published under clause 82 of the Sugar Industry Agreement of 2000 as amended.