SA energy minister Gwede Mantashe declines to sign $1bn green energy MoU

SA mines minister, Gwede Mantashe

SOUTH African mines and energy minister Gwede Mantashe declined to join a top level meeting between President Cyril Ramaphosa and European leaders for the signing of a green energy memoranum of understanding.

Citing a report by Johannesburg-based Sunday Times, Bloomberg News said Mantashe didn’t sign the $1bn agreement with the Netherlands and Denmark because it was drafted without his input. The pact was ultimately signed by others.

The adoption of cleaner energy has been beset by infighting within the South African government as much of the ruling African National Congress’s traditional support comes from labor unions, including the National Union of Mineworkers, said Bloomberg News.

Both Ramaphosa and Mantashe are former leaders of the mining union.

State-backed firms from the Netherlands agreed to back a $1bn dollar of green hydrogen funds in South Africa. Climate Fund Managers, a Hague-based company owned by Netherlands’s development bank FMO and South African insurer Sanlam, and Invest International will help run and finance the initiatives, according to statements.

South Africa estimates it will cost about R1.5 trillion over the next five years to transition away from the use of coal for power and create electric vehicle and green hydrogen industries.