The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe has announced the opening of bid window 6 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REI4P) for 2 600 Mega Watts of renewable energy.
Speaking during the Platinum group metals Industrial day aimed at discussing opportunities and challenges facing the sector in Johannesburg today, Mantashe acknowledges that it takes longer to issue mining licences in South Africa.
South Africa continues to be the world’s largest producer of platinum with an increased output of 26%.
PGM contributes on average 41% and 37% to total mineral revenue and employment.
Platinum Group’s Metal’s commodities are expected to make a significant contribution to domestic and global economies. They also provide South Africa with a comparative advantage and enables the country to benefit in the trade of these commodities.
But constant electricity supply constraints remain a challenge for the sector. The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has launched the sixth bid window for renewable energy with the release of bid documents this week.
“We are releasing the bid window today. and this will help improve the country.”
Mantashe has also raised concerns about the slow pace of transformation in the platinum sector and has called on the sector to produce more black industrialists.
“The platinum sector must do transformation itself and must not be forced by the government.”
The Minister has reiterated that there is a need to attract investments into exploration. He says the mining sector will decline if exploration is not prioritised and that they are looking at ways on how best to attract exploration in the country.
The exploration strategy was gazetted through parliament last month. “If we don’t do exploration, mining will suffer. If we invest in exploration, we can only grow for a number of years.”
The bid submissions of window six for Independent Producers to produce renewable energy will close on the 11th of August this year.