/ 24 June 2011

Fedusa to discuss ‘green’ jobs with Patel

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) wants to discuss “green” jobs when it meets Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel, on Saturday.

“Fedusa is particularly interested in the creation of green jobs that add to the viability of an environmentally sustainable workplace,” general secretary Dennis George said on Friday.

George said the meeting at Nedlac House, with representatives from government, business and organised labour, would follow up on issues raised by the government’s new growth path (NGP) strategy released last year.

Broad areas of discussion would include skills development, basic education and the creation of a green economy.

“We need to start translating good legislation and policy into firm deliverables,” said George.

“The NGP prioritises the creation of a green economy, however Fedusa sometimes questions whether there is the political will amongst the different government departments to make this much needed sustainable change.”

George said the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) had failed to meet a mid-June deadline to release revised Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (Refit) rates. These promote the use of renewable energy by placing an obligation on entities to purchase energy from qualifying renewable energy generators at pre-determined prices.

“Not only were these new refit prices going to be lower than the 2009 stipulations, but many renewables projects have been started on the assertion of these lower tariffs and are currently in a state of limbo or potentially out of pocket,” George said.

In March, Nersa proposed the cutting of the Refit rates announced in 2009.

Fedusa would raise the issue of renewable energy and sustainable development at the meeting. — Sapa