South Africa’s renewable energy sector, which has grown from a R100-million market to a R1-billion market over the past few years, is a good example of manufacturing competitiveness.
Addressing delegates at the yearly Manufacturing Indaba, in Kempton Park, sector development agency GreenCape CEO Mike Mulcahy noted that a lot of change in manufacturing was driven by a desire to see growth in the green economy.
Mulcahy pointed out that there was a massive opportunity for Cape Town and the Western Cape region to take a leading role in providing solutions to many of South Africa’s renewable energy challenges.
He pointed out that the development of a R1-billion special economic zone, in Atlantis, a historically disadvantaged area in Cape Town, was significant for the manufacturing sector, especially in the renewables space.
Meanwhile, National Planning Commission commissioner Tasneem Essop pointed out that South Africa was heavily reliant on fossil fuel-based energy and that climate change was happening faster than predicted.
“As countries, we are living beyond our ecological boundaries.
“Coal is one of the central sources for our electricity needs. Given these challenges, much has been done from the public and private sector to promote a green economy,” she said.
South Africa views the green economy as a sustainable development path to address the interdependence between economic growth, social protection and the natural ecosystem.