South Africa: Climate Change Fund to Be Established to Support Communities

Government is expected to establish a Climate Change Response Fund to address the devastating effects of the phenomenon on vulnerable areas in South Africa.

Over the past few years, parts of South Africa have been ravaged by floods – particularly in KwaZulu-Natal – as well as fires in other parts of the country and drought.

“This will bring together all spheres of government and the private sector in a collaborative effort to build our resilience and respond to the impacts of climate change,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.

This as the President delivered the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the sixth administration before a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces at the Cape Town City Hall.

President Ramaphosa explained that furthermore, through reforms, government is positioning the economy for “future growth in a world shaped by climate change and a revolution in green technologies”.

“In the last three years, our country has seen an increase in extreme weather events, often with disastrous consequences. This is why we are implementing a just energy transition, not only to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change, but to create growth and jobs for our own people.

“We will undertake this transition at a pace, scale and cost that our country can afford and in a manner that ensures energy security.

“With our abundance of solar, wind and mineral resources, we are going to create thousands of jobs in renewable energy, green hydrogen, green steel, electric vehicles and other green products.”

Electric vehicle manufacturing

The President highlighted that green hydrogen and electric vehicle manufacturing are receiving particular attention.

“We are going to set up a Special Economic Zone in the Boegoebaai port to drive investment in green energy. There is a great deal of interest from the private sector to participate in the boom that will be generated from green hydrogen energy projects.

“We have decided to support electric vehicle manufacturing in South Africa to grow our automotive sector, which provides good jobs to thousands of workers. We have decided to give special focus to regions like Mpumalanga to enable the creation of new industries, new economic opportunities, and sustainable jobs.

“And in the past year, we have increased the financing pledges for our Just Energy Transition Investment Plan from around R170 billion to almost R240 billion,” he said.

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