Zuma speaks of ‘greening SA economy’ at COP17

Government is to invest billions in mass transport systems as a way of "greening" the South African economy, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.

"By 2014, the state-owned commuter rail company, Prasa [Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa], will invest R20-billion in new trains, most of which will be manufactured locally", he said.

He was addressing the World Economic Forum Green Partnership Dialogue at COP17 in Durban as part of government's New Growth Path, which seeks to reduce emissions by focusing on renewable and nuclear energy, green transport and the built environment.

"Government will invest in mass-transport systems to reduce reliance on private cars. Initial steps have been taken on bus rapid [transit] and commuter rail", said Zuma.

Zuma said government would review its rail investment programme in order to accelerate the shift of freight transport to rail from road.


Employing youth
State-owned transport entity Transnet will invest about R63-billion in the freight rail system over the next five years, he said.

"For its part, organised business will continue to promote greater use of rail freight by companies."

Zuma stressed that the country's Green Economy Accord had a strong commitment to employing young people and those historically excluded from the economy.

"In particular, government and business have set a target of 80% youth among new employees in the manufacturing and installation of solar-water heating systems as well as government's public works programmes to green the economy," said Zuma.

He said it was imperative that poor communities did not end up footing the bill, whether through job losses or high prices.

Creating green jobs
Zuma said Eskom and business would work to create technologies to reduce emissions from coal-fired plants.

The solar and wind energy industries in the country had made a target of creating 50 000 green jobs by 2020.

"Government will also support the installation of [a] million solar water heating systems by 2014 to 2015," said Zuma.

In the short run, green jobs would be created by services associated with cleaning up the environment, "especially recycling, cleaning public spaces, and controlling invasive species", said Zuma

Zuma said the New Growth Path "foresees that in the coming decades, at least a third of new electricity generation will come from renewable sources". — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G for R2 a month

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

And for this weekend only, you can become a subscriber by paying just R2 a month for your first three months.

Related stories

Indians in South Africa, a historical excerpt

In the book, The Indian Africans, academic Kiru Naidoo explores the society of colonial Natal in the late 1800s to early 1900

A colossus with feet of clay

South Africa is disproportionately targeted by cybercriminals. Digital attacks call for digital solutions and technology is a the prime weapon in this fight

The president, the preacher and the great escape

Malawi’s new president was furious after Shepherd Bushiri’s dramatic disappearance from South Africa

We developed a simple process to recycle urine. Here’s how it’s done

Most of the wastewater produced worldwide receives no treatment and the nutrients in wastewater go to waste. Here's how households can draw these nutrients from urine

South Africa’s coastal cities may lose their beaches

Urban tourist magnets have nowhere to retreat to as sea levels rise with climate change

Patel: South Africa on target to attract R1.2-trillion in investments

The trade minister says the country is on track to reach more than R1-trillion worth of investments over five years, despite Covid-19 disruptions
Advertising

Subscribers only

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my...

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

More top stories

Exclusive: Top-secret testimonies implicate Rwanda’s president in war crimes

Explosive witness testimony from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda implicates Paul Kagame and the RPF in mass killings before, during and after the 1994 genocide.

Shadow of eviction looms over farm dwellers

In part two of a series on the lives of farm dwellers, Tshepiso Mabula ka Ndongeni finds a community haunted by the scourge of eviction

Editorial: Crocodile tears from the coalface

Pumping limited resources into a project that is predominantly meant to extend dirty coal energy in South Africa is not what local communities and the climate needs.

Klipgat residents left high and dry

Flushing toilets were installed in backyards in the North West, but they can’t be used because the sewage has nowhere to go
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…